Take a call on new pay-and-park policy, BMC tells Maharashtra

  • Laxman Singh, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2015 23:25 IST

In an attempt to put in place the long-pending revised pay-and-park policy in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation (BMC) has written to the Urban Development (UD) Department to take a decision on the policy as soon as possible. The BMC’s letter mentions that in the absence of a parking policy, the city is facing traffic chaos.

In January, the revised parking policy was stalled by the state government after a section of citizens had protested against it.

The revised policy has increased the rates for parking at civic-run parking lots by up to 300%; and also formulated, for the first time, the concept of residential parking permits- under which residents will be charged for parking on the road.

On August 28, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta wrote a letter to UD department secretary Nitin Kareer, asking him to have a meeting on the stalled parking policy. The letter remains unanswered as of yet.

The letter says that there is traffic chaos in various parts of the city. Because the revised parking policy is stalled at several places, people are parking their vehicles without following any rules, causing traffic jams, reads the letter. The letter says that such situations can be addressed by taking a decision on the policy as early as possible. The letter mentions that without a policy in place, the civic body is unable to take any decision on appointing contractors for maintaining and operating of parking lots.

Confirming the development, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “I have written a letter to the UD department and have requested them to hold a meeting on the issue as soon as possible, so that they can take a decision.”

But BMC will wait for a decision by the state government on the main objections to the policy, the increase in charges and residential permits. A senior civic official said, “Depending on the decision taken by the state government, we will take further steps in implementing the policy.”

How the policy was stalled

On January 2, 2015, the revised pay-and-park policy was approved in the civic body’s general body meeting. It was proposed that the policy be implemented in the A ward (Colaba, CST, Churchgate) on pilot basis.

The residents’ associations from A ward protested against the plan to have residential permits. BJP MLA Raj Purohit brought the issue to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s notice.

CM Fadnavis directed the UD department to look into the issue. After that UD stalled the implementation of the policy and asked for a hearing with the aggrieved residents.

The revised pay-and-park policy has divided the parking lots into three categories (A, B and C) based on vehicle visits and business in that particular area.

The rates for parking will range from Rs 20, Rs 40 and Rs 60 for four-wheelers, depending on categories and business in the particular areas.

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