* Project worth Rs 650m became operational in July 2009

* With a capacity to accommodate 1,200 vehicles at a time, plaza could not attract over 30 vehicles a day

Karachi: With what was being said as a breakthrough to make the roads of Saddar area congestion-free, defunct City District Government Karachi (CDGK) constructed a Parking Plaza some 28-month back, but the dismal side is not only it turned out to be a complete failure, it continue to suffer financial loss.

The project worth Rs 650 million became operational in July 2009, with a maximum capacity to accommodate 1,200 vehicles at a time but it could not attract more than 30 vehicles a day, including of the Parking Plaza staff, since its inauguration, sources said.

The non-implementation of traffic laws, corruption among cops and inefficacy of government officials are solitary reasons near to experts who feel the mega project could not have gone in the doldrums had the serious attention been paid for its useful utilisation.

Reliable sources have claimed that Parking Plaza continues to suffer the loss of Rs 300,000 to Rs 400,000 on monthly basis. In view of persisting financial loses, the Commissioner Karachi, in October 2011, cancelled the contract of the private party and had waived the parking fee for 15 days, however no encouraging response was received from the public.

The parking building houses 12 floors with a facility of accommodating 700 cars and 500 motorbikes, while charging fee is Rs 30 and Rs 10, respectively. Eight floors are designated for parking, two for shops and two for offices.

Despite the imposition of parking bans and section 144 dozens of times, it was not implemented by the traffic police and people bent-on flouting the law.

Senior district officer at the defunct transport and communication department, requesting not to be named, said several meetings were held and various committees were formed but to no avail. In last few months, three committees were formed, one under the supervision of EDO revenue which dissolved soon due to his busy schedule. Amid the working of second committee, another group of officials was structured headed by EDO transport, however, the outcome of all committees were like-wise.

“Results of all deliberations can never be achieved until traffic police, relevant officials and high ups of Sindh government reach a consensus in stamping out the lingering encroachments and regulated parking along sadder roads”, he said.

Regarding the security concerns, he said there was no security to prevent mugging incidents around the Parking Plaza as motorists had to cover a hundreds of meter distance to reach their destination without any safety. “That’s an added element for the failure of the project.

“Ideally speaking, the location for the Parking Plaza is not just right where encroachments are rampant and authorities lack the powers to evict the illegal squatters.

A traffic sergeant near the Empress Market when asked said the location of Parking Plaza was not convenient for visitors as it was far-off from the commercial area of Saddar.

“It’s true that people defy traffic laws as they know the challan fee is meager to get their vehicles back into their possession. It will be a good step to increase the challan fee.

He said traffic police could not force people to park their vehicles in the Parking Plaza. “We advise them to get the vehicle to the parking building but they move somewhere else citing the location is too far.”