There has been a four-fold increase in parking on Mumbai roads since 2006, but only 4% of it is under pay-and-park facilities provided by the civic body, a study has revealed.
The study, conducted by the Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN), which undertook a parking inventory in 2013 on four major arteries, found a 110% increase in parking since 2006, when a similar study was conducted by the firm Lea Associates on the same roads.
The most significant jump in parking was on VN Purav Marg (also known as the Sion-Trombay Road), which saw a 206% jump in parking since 2006. The LBS Marg ranked second, which saw a rise of 92% in parking. With the growth rate of private vehicles at nine percent every year and 12% to 35% of road space occupied by parked cars, the study shows an estimated 26 lakh vehicles (cars and two-wheelers) are likely to be added to the city’s roads in 2016.
Transport experts pointed out that it’s time parking gets regulated in Mumbai. “One-third of the city’s vehicles are parked on the roads at all times. This makes it a serious issue,” said Ashok Datar, chairman and founder, MESN. “As more towers with high FSI come up, the impact of increased trips by cars and two-wheelers will be felt more.”
While paid parking was introduced in the early 1990s, a majority of it was restricted to south Mumbai. At present, the city has about 92 parking lots with 8,000 parking spaces for cars, in addition to 4,000 parking spaces for two-wheelers. The civic body has earned Rs12 crore between November 2012 and November 2013, by charging for parking.
“The world-over, the experience has been that parking infrastructure is never enough. The government needs to invest more in public transport,” said Rishi Aggarwal, member, Mumbai Transport Forum. Datar said, “Regulation of parking is substantially absent in all areas. There are a few pay-and-park sites under most flyovers operated by the MSRDC as well as some sites operated through the ward offices.”
Earlier this year, in a move to decongest the city’s roads, the civic body proposed a revised parking policy with a 300% hike in parking charges. The state government however stayed the policy following opposition from citizens groups.
The MESN study calls for a “robust” parking policy for the city where “at least half of all vehicles are parked in pay-and-park sites equipped with boxes and meters, boards and attendants and proper price structure in a range of a minimum of Rs 20 and a maximum of Rs 80 depending on the size of the car, location, and the time of day.