After the code of conduct for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections is lifted in March, citizens will have to pay up to 200% more for parking in civic parking lots and even more if they park on roads.
After a two-year stay on the pay-and-park policy, the state government approved a new policy just a week before the code of conduct kicked in on January 11, a source said.
The urban development department, led by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had temporarily stayed the policy and announced a public hearing, after disgruntled citizens led by BJP MLA Raj Purohit demanded the policy to be scrapped.
According to the policy, citizens will face a steep hike of up to 200 per cent more on parking fees at the civic pay-and-park lots. The policy also includes a residential permit scheme, for which island city residents will have to cough up Rs1,800 a month for parking on roads.
Transport experts have extended their support. “It was a much-needed policy. The haphazard parking on the roads was going beyond control,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert.
However, citizen groups have expressed displeasure.
“We are not against the policy, but we always wanted a discussion and a realistic fee. This is a mere political stunt where politicians again want us to knock on their doors and again some false promises will be made just before the election,”said Subhash Motwani, president, Clean Heritage Colaba Resident association (CHCRA), one of the 15 groups that wrote a letter to the civic body opposing the policy, in 2015.
CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “The parking policy was approved by the state two months ago. The decision about its implementation will be taken by the BMC.”