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india Updated: Feb 11, 2009 00:53 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

In two years, you will no longer be able to park your car at random and hop out to go shopping or pick up some groceries — that is, if you are within 1 km of one of the seven new parking lots planned across Mumbai.

The upside: That means you will probably be able to zoom around areas like Dadar, Matunga, Kurla and Borivli much more easily. You can now only crawl in bumper-to-bumper traffic here, with parked cars taking up much of the narrow streets.

The civic body has proposed an amendment in the existing parking policy, which will ban all cars from parking on roads within 1 km of the upcoming mechanised parking lots.

The lots are expected to be complete by 2011.

If cleared by the civic standing committee, this rule will be applicable to seven parking lots: The one at Bole Marg near Dadar railway station, the one outside Matunga railway station, the ones at the Kurla and Borivli railway stations and the three lots planned near Hiranandani Gardens in Powai.

The amendment will later be extended to 150 other such lots that the BMC plans to construct over the next few years as part of its ‘Parking Master Plan’.

According to 2007 civic estimates, there are already 14 lakh vehicles in the city, with 400 new vehicles being registered every day. This has led to random parking along most roads, which reduces the space left for vehicular traffic by more than 20 per cent.

“We are working on each of the sites and detailing the traffic logistics with the help of the traffic police. With strict regulations in place, we are aiming to free the roads of random parking,” said Deputy Chief Engineer (Traffic) A.R. Desai.

Additional Municipal Commissioner R.A. Rajeev confirmed the development. “This move was devised to make sure people park in the facility and not on the roads.”

He added that the amendment would be coupled with a uniform parking policy where a Mumbaiite would pay the same sum in any civic parking lot in the city.

Project consultants Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services and the partly government-funded Urban Mass Transport Company on Tuesday shortlisted seven firms to construct the lots.

Of the 10 companies that had expressed interest in the project, Hiranandani Builders, PMT Machines, Gammon Infrastructure Projects, DSC, Akruti, Peninsula Land and Zoom Developers have made it to the final seven, sources said.