ISLAMABAD-Centaurus mall greets vehicles more than its parking capacity resulting in heavy traffic outside its premises due to parked cars of customers on roadsides.

Around 5,000 people and 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles are daily visiting the mall. However, Centaurus offers parking for only 1,300 cars.

On visit to Centaurus, this correspondent contacted Senior Director Sales, Marketing and Lease Kashif S Butt. On his availability, this correspondent asked if the mall was facing difficulty in managing the parking for the visiting cars as their parking is not enough to hold the amount of traffic that daily enter the premises.

Answering to the question, Kashif stressed that the authorities had wired the parking area adjacent to the mall and now they do not have enough space to manage all the vehicles coming in.

Briefing in numbers, he revealed that around 5,000 people daily visit the mall and hundreds of employees are also working in Centaurus out of which most of them carry their own transport.

Apart from them, there are also residents who live in flats and apartments of the mall and therefore, are also using the parking area, told Kashif.

Kashif said that now due to the recent takeover of their parking area, the management staff and employees of the mall had to park cars in the farther area of the mall where a small area is settled for car parking for the management staff.

While talking to the official, this correspondent tried to get the exact number of cars and bikes that enter the premises of the mall on daily basis but owing to the rules, Kashif apologised that the information cannot be shared at the time as they need permission from the top management for matters like this. This correspondent got to meet one of the staff members in the reception present in the basement which is the only place left for parking.

Burhan-ul-Haq, one of the members in the checking area in the basement told this correspondent that there were only two floors present at the time in the basement with each one having capacity to hold up to 500 cars.

He too briefed that the area was much lesser than the amount of vehicles coming daily in the mall.

In a mall where at least 2,000 cars are expected daily, there is only space for a thousand cars.

When the parking area in the basement gets full, the guards divert the entering traffic to park their cars on roadsides as the previous parking area outside the building is wired by the authorities of Islamabad.

Therefore, the parked cars on roadsides cause disturbance for the traffic flowing through the areas. The traffic flow on the double road of F-8 on one side of Centaurus and the main road on the other side is usually slow owing to the cars parked on roadsides of both the roads.

While talking to this correspondent, one of the traffic police officer Sohail said that the traffic flow was slow most of the time in the areas surrounding Centaurus. In addition, he also stated that it was hectic to control the jammed cars and sometimes it could even take hours to clear the traffic off the road.

The Nation also learnt that the mall of Islamabad had two more additional floors in their basement and the authorities of the capital were demanding the management of the mall to use them as parking to overcome the problem.

In an exclusive talk with The Nation, the Capital Development Authority Director Faisal Naeem revealed that the mall had a total of four floors in their basement out of which Centaurus was only using two floors for parking.

In view of the CDA official, the mall should spare the additional two floors for the purpose of parking instead of struggling for the parking area outside its premises which has been wired by the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI).

The official further briefed that the matter of the external parking was also being closely watched by the authorities and the land was already put to auction by the MCI.

The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad Directorate of Municipal Administration in December 2019 had auctioned the parking site against a bid of Rs90.7 million. However, the contractor, who won the bid, has so far not started the operation of the parking lot.

Earlier, after removing encroachment from the site the CDA had handed it over to the DMA for the parking auction.