With land going to Rlys, Qutab Rd loses its only parking space
The worst nightmare of visitors, traders and shopkeepers at Sadar Bazar has come true. The one and only parking site located at Qutab Road that has <g data-gr-id="32">a capacity</g> to park over 1,000 vehicles will soon be closed as the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has handed over this land to the Railway authority over an ex-party decision and the latter is all set to take possession of the land from December 1. While Sadar Bazar is already choked with thousands of cars daily, this shocking move will throw traffic out of gear owing to the chronic shortage of parking space.
“As we have been constructing a flyover at Rani <g data-gr-id="29">Jhashi</g> Road, it required additional land. We took two land portions at separate locations from the Railway. In lieu of these part lands, we have paid Rs 28 crore and have given another land which is being used as a parking lot at Qutab Road,” said PK Gupta, Commissioner of the North Corporation.
Meanwhile, sources said that the Railway authority had demanded Rs 98 crore additional but the cash-strapped civic agency failed to make payment, following which, the agency decided to hand over the land ownership.
The parking lot is spread over 7,000 <g data-gr-id="26">sq</g> metre and has <g data-gr-id="42">a capacity</g> to park over 1000 vehicles at one point of time.
A sword is hanging over the traders and shopkeepers as the railway has demanded an “absolute vacant land” and removal of all vehicles by November 30.
Sadar Bazar Trader Association General Secretary Dev Raj Baweja wrote a letter to the North MCD officials citing that “This is the only parking available for Sadar Bazar area, closure of this site shall have far-reaching ill effects on the traffic situation, which shall burst out of control, and shall not only choke the entire area but the mushroom of cars and other vehicles in the area shall be an open invitation for law and order problem in the area.”
A year ago, the North MCD had decided to construct a multi-level parking in that area which was rubbished by Railway’s intervention a month ago. Back in 1996, this area, which was then a vacant land of the Railway Department, was used to casually park cars.
On January 3, 1996, it met with a horrific bomb blast which took away many lives.
“Keeping in mind the space crunch to park cars and the security threat to this area, as it was not a proper parking lot, the then Lieutenant Governor had asked the MCD to build a proper parking lot in this area as it was already an unused vacant land,” said Baweja.