If you thought you were the only one facing parking woes in the city, rest assured that you are not alone. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has the same problem. While you face a dearth of parking spaces for your car, the BMC faces a loss of revenue.
The reason: the BMC was cheated of Rs 3.87 crore by two pay-and-park contractors appointed to manage parking lots in the A ward (Colaba).
The contractors have been paying license fees for running the parking lots - allotted through an auction - by cheque for over a year. All these cheques have bounced, said civic officials.
Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, A ward, said, “I have blacklisted two pay-and-park contractors from bidding for any more parking contracts and have ordered my officers to register a police complaint for cheating, forgery and overcharging citizens.”
The vigilance department unearthed the scam after going through last year’s records on the orders of civic chief Ajoy Mehta.
Notices were issued to the two contractors. They were called for a hearing as a part of the process of blacklisting them. Officials said the contractors did not attend the hearing.
Senior Police Inspector Sukhlal Varpe, from MRA Marg police station said, “We have received an application and are investigating the matter.”
The parking policy has been put on hold by the state government.
A Bombay high court order allows the civic body to conduct auctions for parking lots every six months.
The A ward has 47 parking lots that are auctioned. Parking at 36 of these was made free five months ago. Parking at MG Road, Maharshi Karve Marg, Veer Nariman Road, Bombay Hospital, Vidhan Bhavan Marg, NCPA Road, Hutatma Chowk, Jeevan Bima Marg and the Free Press Journal Road is also free.