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Mumbai, Sep 21:
With dwindling open places in the city, especially for parking, the civic body is digging into underground spaces to accommodate the increasing number of automobiles here.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is planning to develop 21 underground parking lots in the business area of south Mumbai, central and western suburbs of the city, and tenders for the first two are to be issued by this month end.

"The tenders for the Regal-Flora Fountain and another parking lot in south Mumbai are expected to be issued soon and by November we expect to award the project," Additional Municipal Commissioner Manu Shrivastav told PTI.

Nineteen other sites for underground parking have been short-listed and various options can be evaluated following a feasibility study, he said. Multi-level underground parking lots are also being considered.

The MCGM will also consider the development of an underground walkway extending from Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus in south Mumbai to Regal, a route taken by scores of office-goers every morning.

"The recommendation had been made by the consultant appointed by us. Under the first phase, the parking lot will be constructed and then we will consider whether we want to extend it for a walkway," Shrivastav said.

The lots are expected to be constructed by builders, who will operate them for a fixed number of years after which they will have to hand them over to the MCGM.

However, builders wanting to develop the lots will have to obtain the necessary heritage and environmental clearances without any assistance from the MCGM, he said.  


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