With parking becoming a major problem in the space-starved city, those who park their cars at Avabai Kashinath Street, Tardeo, allege that they are asked to pay for parking or are restricted from parking their cars on the road.
The parking charges are levied by some residents of the buildings, which, they claim, is used to pay the security officials employed by them.
A monthly amount of Rs 200 is charged for cars and Rs 100 for two-wheelers.
Until recently, they had been parking on the road without having to pay.
“Since Tardeo is a no-parking zone, there is no place to park vehicles except this road. We had been parking our cars here for the last 50 years, without paying a penny. But for nearly 18 months now, we are being asked to pay or else security men restrict our entry,” said K Jhunjhunwala, advisor, Suryodaya Welfare Association, which is near the street.
The association, and some other office bearers, have also complained to the traffic police.
The street has 12 buildings adjoining it. Residents of the area who are opposed to this move have complained to the traffic police about it, but say that no action has been taken. “We are looking into the issue and will take action accordingly,” said SS Bangale, senior Traffic Police Inspector, Tardeo.
These residents also allege that civic signboards for parking were removed from the streets. After filing an RTI application on the issue, they received a reply from the BMC stating, “No permission was given for pay-and-park and keeping security men, as Avabai Kashinath Street is a public road.” Civic officials were unavailable for comment despite several attempts.
Some residents complained about the haphazard parking, which made it difficult for senior citizens to walk on the street. “It will also cause a problem in emergency situations, like fires, as the fire engine cannot reach the spot with such parking,” said Mehervan Vakil, a resident.
Those who support the pay-and-park system say the amount is collected only from those who are willing to pay.
“After the 26/11 attack, the residents decided to have security employed for our buildings and to collect money to pay them,” said Maharukh Mehta, a resident who initiated the parking charges and is the signing authority on the parking receipt.
“We started collecting money for parking, but it is limited for the residents only and many outsiders park their vehicles for free, daily. However, we, as residents of the buildings on the street, have the first right to park,” he added.