Multi-level car parkings not running as expected

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A few people use the two multi-level car parking (MLCP) in Thimphu but the management is hopeful the situation would change for the better with the closing of parking areas in Norzin Lam.

The MLCP-II, near Thimphu Thromde (municipal) began operations from July 18 and MLCP-I started operations from August 1.

 “There are low occupancy rate of 0.53% of 245 slots for MLCP-I and 8% of 223 slots for MLCP-II,” said General Manager, KCR Private Limited, Jamyang Tenzin.

MLCP-II earned Nu 90,610 in a month, the while company’s target was Nu 240 per slots per day (approximately Nu 1.76mn for MLCP-I and Nu 1.6mn for MLCP-II per month).

The parking fee for a slot is Nu 10 for half an hour.

“We expected that more cars would be parked during August 17 and 18 during Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s visit, because Norzin Lam was closed however, there were only few cars,” said Jamyang Tenzin.

He said that it could be due to the days falling on weekends and no black topping in front of MLCP-II. “If the trend continues with fewer cars in the parking space, the whole building has to be converted into commercial space,” said Jamyang Tenzin.

According to Thimphu Thromde, with operation of the multi-parking, no cars would be allowed to park in Norzin Lam.

“It is Thromde’s responsibility to close the Norzin Lam, however, we have no idea when it would be closed,” said General Manager.

Thromde is in discussion and planning to close the Norzin Lam but it would take time, said Thimphu Thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee.

For the residents parking their cars in Norzin Lam, the KCR Pvt. Ltd. have plans to issue sensor prepaid parking card, payable only 50% of Nu 240 per slots per day, said Jamyang Tenzin.

While, parking fee would differ respective of the timing, Nu 3,500 payable from 9 am to 9pm and Nu 1,500 from 9 pm to 9 am per month, he added.

For 24 hours car park for a month, Nu 4,500 is payable, said Jamyang Tenzin adding that there are also plans for weekly plan, however, the rate has not been discussed.

One of the terms and conditions in parking ticket states, “Vehicles are parked at the owner’s risk. The management accepts no responsibility for theft, danger or other misdemeanor however, caused to vehicle, equipment, or contents while parked in this premises.”

The parking has Closed-circuit television (CCTV) facility and the terms are as per the international standards, and management would not be accountable if the car doors are not properly closed, said General Manager.

The MLPCs also houses 20% each for the commercial space with diversity of businesses. There are plans to relocate Bank of Bhutan’s city branch located above Druk Punjab Bank in MLCP-II.

In 2014, Thimphu Thromde awarded the integrated parking development and management contract for core Thimphu city to KCR Pvt. Ltd with 22 years contract period with effect from September 1, 2014. The contract period will end on August 30, 2036.

The construction of the MLCP-I was started from January 2016 and MLCP-II from March 2015.

The agreement signed on September 1, 2014 states the MLCP-I will complete by November 5, 2017 and MLCP-II by July 1, 2017

Due to delay in the project, there has been cost escalation from about Nu 600mn to about Nu 800mn.

The cost escalation was mainly due to change in design of the buildings towards high international standards.

The parking buildings has automatic management system including CCTV, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, ventilation system, fire alarm system, and 100 % power generator.

KCR Pvt Ltd has applied to Thimphu Thromde for time extension of 30 years. The project is public private partnership between Thimphu Thromde and KCR Pvt. Ltd.

The company has to pay Nu.12, 345 per parking slots a year to Thimphu Thromde as concession. Currently, Thromde receives around Nu 9mn to Nu 11mn per year from parking fee collection from all parking spaces under Thromde.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu

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