The state government on Thursday ordered a stay on the implementation of the civic body’s revised parking policy after constant protests from residents’ associations in south Mumbai's A ward (Colaba, Churchgate, Fort).
This means the parking policy — aimed at discouraging more vehicles in the congested city and encouraging the use of public transport — will be stalled for a few more weeks. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had decided to implement the policy with a pilot project in the A ward, beginning February 1. The revised policy includes increasing the parking rates at civic parking lots by up to 300% and also introduces residential parking permits, which will charge residents for parking on the road.
Following a request by BJP’s Mumbadevi MLA Raj Purohit, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis directed minister of state for urban development Ranjit Patil to look into the issue. Patil on Thursday ordered a ‘stay and hearing’ on the pilot project. Patil will now conduct a hearing to listen to the residents’ associations and then give his ruling on the issue. The urban development department sent a letter to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte informing him of the decision.
The state government is yet to decide on the date of the hearing.
The revised pay and park policy was approved by the civic body’s general body meeting on January 2, 2015, to be implemented in the A ward on a pilot basis. Following the announcement, around 15 resident associations from A ward met Purohit urging him to scrap the policy entirely. Purohit had also met Fadnavis regarding the issue on Wednesday.
“The new policy by the BMC is unconstitutional and if implemented without taking consent from stake holders will lead to chaos in the city,” said Purohit.
Reacting to the government order, SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner said, “There was public hearing for a month after the general body in the civic body passed it. We had several sessions with residents as well for solving their doubts regarding the implementation of the policy. Now, we will act further only after we get next notification from state.”