Irked by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) drive to fine parked cars obstructing cleaning of the roads, car owners in the city are now planning to challenge the former's decision in the High Court.
The Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) has decided to file a petition in the Bombay High Court against the proposal. "First provide parking space for the cars and then ask for fines," said Nitin Dossa, Executive Chairman, WIAA.
"We will not take such harassment lying down," he insisted.
The tussle between the BMC and the car owners is likely to aggravate in the coming months. The root of the problem lies in the BMC deciding to levy a fine of Rs 500 on those parking their vehicles on the road when the sweeper comes to clean it. The drive has already begun and vehicle owners have reacted angrily to the same.
In a city like Mumbai where space is always a problem and there are a very few parking lots available, the civic body should come up with a solution and not a problem, the owners have been saying.
The BMC is currently invoking Clause 7.8 of its Cleanliness and Sanitation Byelaws-2006 which says that if the sweeping or cleaning of the road is obstructed by private cars, the car owners would either have to clean the place or pay fines.
Additional Municipal Commissioner RA Rajeev — who has been pushing for the drive — ruled out any compromise in the cleaning operation saying that vehicle owners should act in a responsible manner. "If the vehicle owners have problems, they should take the responsibility of sweeping the place and keeping it clean," he said.
The BMC has said that vehicles parked on the road hinder the cleaning process in two ways. One it obstructs the cleaning drive and also when the vehicles are washed, the water mixes with the dust particles creating mud, which the BMC cleaners find difficult to remove.
However WIAA has ruled out taken responsibility of cleaning the roads. "Why does the BMC collect the taxes if it cannot provide basic needs. Instead of behaving in a dictatorial manner, the BMC should take vehicle owners in confidence. We are for the clean city and are ready to cooperate," said Dossa.