Your chances of finding a parking space in the city will soon become more difficult.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which was making money by allowing cars to park under flyovers, has decided to scrap this pay-and-park facility. This means, Mumbai will have 2,500-3,000 less parking slots. “We took a review of the parking under flyover scheme and found that it was a safety hazard. We have now decided to stop the pay-and-park services and will instead beautify these spaces,” said Bipin Shrimali, MSRDC vice-chairman and managing director.
The pay-and-park facility could be a security threat as terrorists could park an explosive-laden vehicle under a bridge and cause loss of life and property. The agency has built 37 flyovers in the western corridor, eastern corridor and Sion-Panvel corridor in the MMR area and also maintains them.
Of these 37 flyovers, the MSRDC had sanctioned pay-and-park facilities run by private contractors, under 16 bridges. However, the agency received several complaints that these spaces were not being utilised well and have become “dens for anti-social activities”.
Earlier, the Vilasrao Deshmukh-led government had issued orders to stop parking below flyovers, but vehicles still continued to do so.
MSRDC is now seeking the help of a consultant on how to beautify the soon-to-be unused space below the flyovers by landscaping, installing artifacts and murals and planting shrubs.
The agency plans to award the beautification work on a build-operate-transfer basis to various agencies. To recover the cost of construction, the MSRDC will permit these agencies to put up advertisement hoardings of fixed sizes, at fixed locations.