As reported by Varinder Bhatia in on 16 May 2008:
The comfort of a multiplex, food courts, convenient shopping. But where do you park your car? - ExpressIndia.Com
The comfort of a multiplex, food courts, convenient shopping. But where do you park your car?

Chandigarh, May 15 Chandigarh Administration has been ignoring the recommendations and suggestions of its own architects and planners and allowing malls and multiplexes to flourish without bothering about parking space.

Consider this: A multiplex with nearly 1,100 seats, 70 shops and food courts was allowed to come up in Industrial Area Phase-I but there was not even a mention of a parking lot.

Centra Mall, which is almost complete and is likely to be inaugurated in the next few weeks, has a parking capacity of nearly 200 cars, but is it enough?

According to information procured under the Right to Information Act, UT Chief Architect, in a communiqué to the UT Estate Office, stated that “conversion of industrial plot to multiplex shall be considered only if the area of the plot is 2 acres or above and the proposed plot has a direct access to road not less than 80-ft wide with a road frontage of not less than 100 feet”.

But the administration, without paying attention to norms, permitted Centra Mall to come up on an area of 1 acre (4,840 square yards). Rather, the administration has reasoned that if Fun Republic in Manimajra can provide a multiplex in an area of 2,500 square yards, then an acre should be enough for a multiplex, banquet hall and marriage palace.

At present, small plot holders are protesting in Industrial Area after a new notification issued on March 18, 2008 specifically barred them from going commercial. Reason: they cannot implement parking and other norms of the Department of Architecture.

“It is going to be utter chaos. We fail to understand where is the space for parking and how are these multiplexes claiming that they will accommodate so many vehicles. The roads in Industrial Area are so narrow that the chaos will be unimaginable once the multiplexes start functioning. You can’t even park on the road berms because there are none. I can’t say how the administration allowed these multiplexes to come up without analysing a proper parking space,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police J S Cheema.

Said the spokesperson of the UT Administration, “We are creating a multi-level parking, and we are also going to use many vacant areas as parking. We will see that that there are not too many big projects in one particular congested area.”