The construction of first-ever and much needed parking plaza at Fawara Chowk here is still a dream as Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has not been able to complete the task despite passage of several years.

The parking plaza, an initiative of Punjab government to minimise parking problems at the commercial hub of the city was handed over to RDA, which had prepared its feasibility report and the PC-1 from the project consultant, NESPAK.

The tender for the project was finalised after administrative approval of Finance Department, Government of Punjab and bids were called for resident supervision of the project. Spread over 4.5 kanals of land, the parking plaza will have five storeys and a basement and will be located in the heart of the city on the crossing of Liaquat and Jinnah roads near Fawara Chowk where currently a van station exists. The RDA has already released Rs80 million to kick off the first phase of the project having a capacity to accommodate 500 vehicles at a time after its completion.

The first phase will cost Rs190 million in which basement and two storeys of the plaza with parking capacity of 250 to 300 vehicles would be completed. After the issuance of the work order, the boundary lines of the plaza were built and all the necessary preparations were completed but the construction work has not get momentum.

Although to further mitigate parking problems in the city, the Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has accorded approval of construction of another two multi-storey parking plazas in Commercial market, Satellite town at cost of Rs668.927 million and Sherpao Colony at cost of Rs148 million.

But, a number of people believed that construction of new parking plaza would be a mere dream until the construction of Fawara Chowk parking plaza is completed. Welcoming the initiative of the Punjab government, Mazhar Abbas, a resident said with the construction of the multi-storey parking plaza, people visiting Bara Market, Raja Bazaar, Sabzi Mandi, Sarafa Bazaar, Moti Bazaar, Trunk Bazaar, Narankari Bazaar and other nearby bazaars could easily park their vehicles.

He demanded of the concerned authorities to expedite the construction work to build the parking plaza as early as possible.

As this is a mega project but due to the lack of interest of the concerned department, its construction is being delayed causing a huge loss to national kitty, Tariq Jameel, a motorist said. Talking to this agency, some commuters said that delay in construction of parking plaza has made their life very difficult.