Maharashtra govt backs BMC’s parking policy, but may reduce rates

  • Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 22:33 IST

Mumbai may soon get a tough parking policy that is aimed at discouraging private cars on roads, to reduce congestion. Nearly three months after it put on a hold a new policy that proposed steeper parking rates and residential permits, the Maharashtra government has now decided to back the policy, with a few tweaks.

Sources in the urban development department (UDD), headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, have said the state agrees with the civic body’s belief that hiking rates will help tackle the city’s parking woes.

The state is also keen to implement the system of residential permits across Mumbai.

What might change, however, are the rates the BMC had proposed, especially for parking slots allotted through the residential permits system. The state, sources said, is planning to ask the civic body to reduce the rates. “We will not reduce it drastically. It will be reduced in the range of Rs5-10 in order to make it more acceptable to people,” said a source in the department.

“There is near unanimity at the state-level that we need to regulate and manage parking better,” said a source in the UDD.

The proposed parking policy had aimed to increase parking fees in congested areas like south Mumbai – to discourage use of private vehicles on roads.

The proposed permit system had faced strident protests from residents of the island city, forcing the state to stay the policy. As a result, the state is now planning to seek out a consensus among citizens. “The BMC had wanted to implement the scheme only in the A ward, on pilot basis. However, we want it to be implemented across the city, and so we believe that the rates may have to be reduced to be affordable to all,” said the source.

Activist Priya Ubale, a resident of south Mumbai, said, “It is imperative that something be done about the parking situation in Mumbai. Such a policy is the need of the hour and is just the beginning.”

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