TMC eyes three prime plots for constructing parking plazas

17 November, 2018

Thane: The municipal administration has identifed three prime parcels of state-owned land for a complete transformation to facilitate commercial use and also create public parking plaza large enough to accommodate over 3,300 vehicles. The plots collectively measuring over45,000 sq metres and valued in gold, in the current realty rates, could be a bonanza for the commercial and business units, it is learnt.

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Plans are under consideration to change the user of the two MSRTC depots, one each at Kalwa and at Thane station, while a third plot at Shivaji path in the heart of the city and allow commercial exploitation on these prime plots.

It is learnt that the third plot at Shivaji path is to be used for construction of an high-rise tower housing all the offices of the state government or its undertakings, which are currently scattered around this area. Officials said the land freed after pushing the offices into the high-rise would be utilised for parking plaza.

The town planning department has moved three separate proposals to study the feasibility of developing parking facilities on government lands from the general body next week. The proposal has been drafted after an in-principle approval to the plan by the upper chief Secretary (chief minister’s office) at a meeting called in the first week of November in Mantralaya by Thane guardian minister Eknath Shinde. MSRTC officials in Mumbai meanwhile said they were yet to get a copy of the proposal.

“We are working on improving the parking capacity in and around the Thane station and central business district area and have proposed these plans. We will analyse their feasibility and will commission a detailed project report for which we need approval from the general body,” said Shrikant Deshmukh, additional director, town planning.

The first two proposals include modifying the existing reservation at two MSRTC facilities, one each at Kalwa and Thane, and develop parking facilities. A multi-level parking lot cum commercial complex will be developed within the 3647 sqm plot adjoining Thane station that presentsly houses the MSRTC depot while another similar facility will also be developed at the 25,100 sqm area earmarked as MSRTC depot at Kalwa.

“The corporation has moved a proposal to change the reservation of these two plots under section 37 (1) of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act 1966. Once the reservation has been modified, we will simultaneously start work on the DPR keeping in mind the projected traffic density and traffic movement at the spots,” explained a senior official.

The third proposal entails freeing up ground space occupied by old PWD, Zilla Parishad, revenue and even corporation-owned buildings in a single high-rsie structure and utilise the freed up space for parking. The administration has sought approval for conducting a economic-feasibility and viability report following which the same will also be brought in for amendment of reservation at a later date, explained officials.

Activists and traffic experts have lauded the move saying the traffic congestion at Thane station and Kalwa was bad mostly due to vehicles parked on roads. However, they have cautioned that parking projects shouldn’t end up as an exercise to commercially exploit these areas under guise of providing parking facilities.

“The idea of developing parking places at these congested areas is welcome but the administration should not allow commercial exploitation like building galas at these areas which will in turn drive in more traffic and worsen the traffic congestion here. Also, the administration must work on freeing up the encroached reserved parking plots in Thane city instead of making such fresh plans that look like a ploy to encroach on government land,” observed an activist from Thane.

The parking zones are required but it needs to be known if the corporation is authorised to use the area. The land in Kalwa and adjoining Thane station belongs to the MSRTC and a formal okay from the agency is required before we propose any project. These issues need to be clarified first elsesaid, senior BJO corporator Milind Patankar.

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