Private vehicle owners can heave a sigh of relief as civic corporators on Thursday have out rightly rejected the proposal for hiking the rates in the Pay and Park slots across the city.
Cutting across party lines, corporators in the Improvement Committee meeting have accused the BMC administration of trying to carry out the huge hike just to favour the contractors lobby.
The new system had divided the city into three grades, A, B and C. (A is high vehicle density area like business centres, B is medium vehicle density which is mix of business and residential areas and C is low traffic density which has majority of residential areas).
The rates for parking of two wheelers was proposed to be hiked to Rs 20 for eight hours from Rs 5 while the rate of four wheelers parking would be Rs 105 for eight hours from the current Rs 26.
The reason offered by the civic body was such hike would discourage motorists from bringing the vehicles to the commercial areas and decongest the roads.
“The rates are unreasonable and very hefty, which would hurt the citizens very badly. In this era of high living costs, this is being done just to favour the contractors,” said Ashish Shelar, BJP corporator who demanded the rejection of the proposal.
Congress corporator Amin Patel accused the BMC administration of trying to tarnish the name of the corporators. “If we support the proposal, no sitting corporator would get reelected in the coming election,” said Patel.
Currently there are 137 parking slots in the city, which have been leased to private contractors who earn crores of money. Many of these contractors have been overcharging for years while the civic officials have been turning blind eye. Another problem is that the BMC has conveniently dereserved many of these lots and converted them to residential and commercial complexes.
Nitin Dossa, Chairman, Western India Automobile Association who has been opposed to the hike debunked BMC’s claim of decongestion the roads by such hike. “The motorists is not bringing the vehicles out of choice but the is forced to do so. Our public transport has reached a saturation point and it is high time new modes like metro are started,” said Dossa.