Public facilities: Liberty automated parking system opens after Eid


The Lahore Parking Company (LePark) is currently automating the famous Liberty Market horseshoe parking lot and will start operating it after Eidul Azha, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Foreign consultants who have been in the city working on the project for weeks are making final arrangements for the installation of electronics and machinery from local vendors, officials connected with the project said.

The parking area will have entrance and exit gates which will need cards to operate. They will be fitted with cameras to read licence plates. A total of 32 monitoring cameras will be installed around the parking lot and these will be controlled from a command centre. The parking area will be fenced. Users will be charged an hourly parking rate rather than a flat fee.

An official connected to the project said that the automation of the Liberty parking lot would be complete in another 10 days or so. He said that there would be an auction of parking stands on October 19 or 20 through the DOPF, after which LePark would take over administration of the contractors. He said that the bidders would be required to make a two-month advance payment for each parking stand to LePark.

He said that the DCO would make the final decision on when to transfer the operation of parking stands to LePark. He said that the company would start with a budget of Rs10 million, the amount received by the company against its share value.

The LePark command centre is to be set up at one of the two offices of the District Office for Public Facilities (DOPF). The offices are currently under the use of the Traffic Police and the Liberty Market Traders Union. Both are reluctant to move out, said the official.

He said that the union would also likely demand parking concessions for its members and their suppliers. He said that currently, around 300 of the 800 spaces in the Liberty horseshoe were taken up by the shop owners, their friends and their suppliers.

Fasihuddin, the public relations manager for LePark, said that the company was working hard to ensure they could start the automated parking lot at Liberty after Eid. He said that their aim was to set up a parking system which would be a model for the other parking lots in the city.He said that the company was exploring the possibility of framing rules to address damage to vehicles in the parking lot, since the space would be monitored by dozens of cameras. He said that the Liberty Traders Union would be consulted on all decisions.

Fasihuddin said that improving parking facilities in the city would also have a beneficial effect on traffic congestion.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2012.