Smart parking: Mumbai office-goers say prices too high in BKC
Three days after chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a smart parking facility at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), office-goers have opposed the steep charges, which range between ₹60 for an hour to ₹180 for six-12 hours and ₹210 for more than 12 hours.
Damien A, who works at a company in BKC, said that the prices are too high for regular office-goers. “We are not saying that we should not be charged for parking. But it needs to be rational. Earlier, we would pay ₹60- ₹70 for a day, now it has doubled. This means I will have to pay close to ₹980 for a week and ₹60,000 a year just for parking. This is ridiculously high,” he said.
A resident of Santacruz (East), Damien ditched his car on Thursday and travelled by auto to avoid paying the parking charges.
Another office-goer, Waseem Shaikh, who has been driving from Navi Mumbai to BKC for the last 10 years, said that many people don’t want to travel by public transport during the pandemic. “But we still have to come to the office and attend meetings. Petrol prices have gone up, parking changes are up, but salaries have gone down. What does the government want common people to do?” he said.
Both Damien and Shaikh also pointed out that two parking lots in BKC have been closed down to redirect the demand to the site where smart parking has been introduced.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is looking to develop a mobile application through which office-goers can pre-book their parking slots at different parking lots in BKC. On Sunday, metropolitan commissioner RA Rajeev said that more than 10,000 vehicles enter BKC daily.
BG Pawar, joint metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said that while the charges may be high, it is as per the parking policy of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). “We cannot do anything about it,” he said.
The BMC’s parking charges have been divided into three categories as per the footfall in the area. In localities that see more crowds, like Fort, the charges start from ₹60 for the first hour.