Opposing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) parking policy, residents from A-ward (which includes Churchgate, Fort, Colaba and parts of Cuffe Parade) have decided to file a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court (HC). The residents will be moving court in the first week of June.
Under the new civic policy, the BMC has increased charges at parking lots by 300% and would also charge residents for parking on streets.
Prerak Chaudhary, an activist and a lawyer, who will be filing the PIL, said the BMC has framed the policy without doing its homework. “We are clueless over its implementation. For instance, we don not know how will the plots be alloted to societies. For example, how will the BMC distribute 40 plots in case it receives 1,000 applications?”
Residents also raised doubts over the limited parking inventory. They also asked what steps the civic body would be taking to keep parking slots encroachment-free where it wants to implement 8pm to 8am parking deadline. Munaf Kapadia, a resident of Colaba, said, “We will be supporting the PIL. About 20 organisations are already against the BMC’s parking policy.”
The policy came into effect from April 2 after the Maharashtra government lifted its 2015 stay in February this year. The BMC is implementing the policy in the A ward for residential areas on trial basis. The state had stayed the policy in 2015 after residents opposed it. The policy makes it mandatory for residents to have permits for parking vehicles on road and will cost Rs 1,800 a month.
Residential permit scheme
Under this scheme, if you live in a housing society that does not have enough parking spaces, you can park your vehicle near your society. However, one has to submit an application along with residential proof at the ward office to claim a parking spot for 12 hours (8pm to 8am) annually. The parking charges will have to be paid in advance. So far, the BMC has received only 125 applications, mostly from Nariman Point and Kala Ghoda.