Thirty-nine pay-and-park lots in south Mumbai’s A ward are now open to free parking. As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ward office did not receive any response from private contractors for maintaining its pay-and-park lots, the civic body has now decided to turn them into free parking lots.
The state government’s parking policy has been on hold for over a year. But based on the Bombay high court’s directives, the civic body has been carrying out spot bidding for pay-and-park contractors every six months. The A ward, in the latest round, received responses for eight of the 47 parking lots in the ward.
With this, 39 lots are now open for free parking.
The 47 parking lots put together have space for 8,197 vehicles — four and two-wheelers. The 39 free lots have space for 7,146 vehicles.
They are in areas such as the NCPA Road, Horniman circle, Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Regal Island, Kala Ghoda and Vidhan Bhavan, among others.
Parking lots at Crawford market, Hutatma Chowk, 2 and 3, among others will continue to charge a fee.
The ward office will also display boards at all 39 parking lots. The boards will have the numbers of the local police station and local ward office, where complaints can be registered over any irregularities, including charging a parking fee.
The A ward’s assistant municipal commissioner, Kiran Dighavkar, said, “We will be displaying boards at all the parking lots stating that the parking here is free so that the commuters are not conned by people pretending to be contractors.”
Earlier, the BMC had been cheated of Rs3.87 crore by two contractors appointed to manage parking lots in A ward.
For over a year, the contractors paid their licence fees using cheques, which later