People forced to leave their vehicles on the road because of lack of parking space in commercial/residential buildings will soon be able to drive to higher floors and park safely.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has recommended to the State government to permit multi-level parking in all buildings. The decision to relax rules regarding development of parking space was taken following a representation by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India-Tamil Nadu.

In a bid to improve parking conditions in the city, CMDA has sought an amendment to the development regulations for Chennai Metropolitan Area by permitting “covered parking space in non-IT buildings in upper floors presently included in calculation of Floor Space Index.”

Non-IT buildings include malls, marriage halls, hotels, residential apartments, shops, hospitals, offices and other commercial structures. IT buildings in the city already have multi-level parking spaces. The multi-level parking space in commercial and residential buildings will not be considered for calculation of FSI.

If the State government accepts the recommendations, all new buildings in the 1,189 sq km-area of the Chennai Metropolitan Area will experience vertical growth of parking lots. Construction of parking space will no longer be restricted to the stilt floor.

The CMDA has also taken measures to prevent violation in the multi-storey parking space based on a model adopted in Hyderabad. The developer of the building will have to mortgage the parking area to the CMDA or the local body concerned.

The selling rights of the multi-level parking space will also be withdrawn by the CMDA in order to prevent unauthorised conversion of the parking area into a residential or commercial space. The developer will also have to remit a parking security deposit of Rs. 500 per sq m which will be refunded three years after the building's completion certificate is issued.

The owner or developer of the building will forfeit the deposit and be penalised if the parking area is converted to habitable space.

CREDAI national secretary T. Chitty Babu said the multi-level facility would eliminate the need for basement parking. “The structural stability of the adjacent structure may be affected because of basement parking. Challenges of addressing problems like water seepage and other environmental issues will be solved with multi-level parking.”

Mechanical facilities will be used instead of ramps to get cars to the higher floors in commercial buildings. The availability of more parking spaces in buildings is expected to facilitate reduction of on-street parking in many commercial and residential areas.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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