The city is likely to get at least 50,000 public parking lots in two years.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received 50 proposals from various developers, who want to build parking lots on their premises and hand them to the civic body.
“We have received proposals for 50,000 parking lots of which 20,000 have been given the green signal,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta. “Of the 50 proposals, 17 have been passed.”
The scheme of creating public parking on private premises has enthused builders because they are offered more area to develop as an incentive.
The state government last year amended Development Control (DC) Rule 33 and added a new provision, 33 (24), that said builders will get incentive Floor Space Index (FSI) if they construct parking lots on their premises.
Following this, builders such Indiabulls, DLF and Ackruti modified their plans to accommodate the parking lots.
Activists, however, criticised the move saying it will only worsen the state of civic infrastructure. They said the scheme was tailor-made to suit builders’ interests.
“There is absolutely no thought given to infrastructure and plans are being sanctioned arbitrarily,” said advocate Y.P. Singh, who has filed numerous Public Interest Litigations on infrastructure issues. Singh has also issued a legal notice to the state government saying no permissions should be granted until environment and infrastructure issues are addressed.
Environmentalist Debi Goenka called the scheme a mindless move.
“While the whole world is moving towards reducing congestion, this scheme promotes private vehicles,” Goenka said. “The result will be more traffic snarls and more pollution.”
The BMC, however, has defended the scheme saying the city needs more parking lots.
“We are getting brand new parking lots for free and this move will decongest the roads,” Gupta said. He defended the incentives offered to builders under the scheme saying since they construct the parking lots they deserve to get something in return.