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South Mumbai citizens seek clarity on new parking policy

Despite a nod from the BJP -led state government, the civic body’s new ‘pay and park’ policy has run into trouble again with the residents of south Mumbai demanding that their concerns be addressed before it is implemented.

mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2017 00:21 IST
Chetna Yerunkar
Civic sources said the policy has already been implemented in about 18 locations in the city.
Civic sources said the policy has already been implemented in about 18 locations in the city.(HT)

Despite a nod from the BJP -led state government, the civic body’s new ‘pay and park’ policy has run into trouble again with the residents of south Mumbai demanding that their concerns be addressed before it is implemented.

On Wednesday, a group of citizens from various residents’ associations in south Mumbai, visited the A ward (which includes areas of Colaba, Churchgate and CST) office, which has implemented the revised parking rates from Sunday, put forth their suggestions and objections and also wanted certain clarifications. The MLA from Colaba, BJP’s Raj Purohit, accompanied them and demanded that the policy should be held until the citizens receive their clarifications.

However, civic sources said the policy has already been implemented in about 18 locations in the city.

According to the policy, citizens will have to pay up to 200% more for parking at the civic body’s parking​ 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 their vehicle on the road. The policy also differentiates between charges, depending on zones. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has three categories — A, B and C — each with separate parking charges. So the charges for south Mumbai residents will be higher in comparison to other areas.

This had led south Mumbai residents to oppose the policy two years back, when the general body of corporators had approved it. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had put a stay on implementation of the policy, but this was lifted earlier this year.

The residents said that they were willing to pay more if certain law and order measures were put in place — for example, in a case where someone else parks their vehicle in the space allotted to the residents. They also wanted to understand how the various zones were being demarcated.

A meeting of several citizens groups will be held on April 8 to find a solution to issues pertaining to this policy and find a mid way for its smooth implementation.

“We are willing to pay for parking only if our issues are resolved. We want the civic body to ensure that law and order will be maintained in case others park in the space allotted to us. We will have a meeting on Saturday with our MLA, who will then take our suggestions up with the BMC,” said a resident.

Purohit slammed the policy and said he would oppose it until the citizens approve of it.

“The citizens want to know several things related to the policy and we have asked the ward officer not to implement it until all doubts are cleared. I will oppose the policy until residents are provided with a satisfactory reply,” he said .

Significantly, transport experts have hailed the policy, which aims at reducing private vehicles on roads.

Kiran Dighavkar, an officer from the A ward, said, “The residents came to us with several questions, all of which were answered.”

The traffic in the city has been increasing for the past years and the civic body has been aiming to streamline it by bringing in new parking lots and revising rates, said civic officials. Meanwhile, the civic body is drafting tender documents to appoint contractors to manage 92 on-street parking lots across the city, with revised rates.

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