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High-rises on Senapati Bapat Marg cause chaos on the ground

Buildings don’t have enough parking space, forcing residents to double-park

mumbai Updated: Dec 26, 2017 16:40 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Elphinstone road,traffic jam
File photo of traffic at Elphinstone. Vehicle owners and beggars have encroached upon footpaths on the Senapati Bapat Marg stretching from Lower Parel to Dadar.(HT PHOTO)

Commercial and residential high-rise buildings along central Mumbai’s mill lands have commuters worried. The buildings grew vertically but didn’t have enough parking space on the horizontal ground. With little to no room inside the buildings, residents and visitors double-park at the busy Senapati Bapat Marg.

According to residents and traffic experts, until three years back, this area saw very few cars parked on roads. But after the rule allowing high FSI, high-cost residences and offices have sprung in this area. The parking area inside proved to be much less than required and more and more started parking on the road. Experts said after a survey they found that the parking now occupies between 51% and 75% of the total stretch. “The parking space available inside high-rise commercial and residential buildings is not enough as the parking load has doubled leading to very acute traffic congestion,” said Ashok Datar, traffic expert.

Vehicle owners and beggars have encroached upon footpaths on the Senapati Bapat Marg stretching from Lower Parel to Dadar. Residents allege that vehicle owners double park on roads, inconveniencing pedestrians and the passing traffic and causing traffic jams. “A five-minute commute extends to more than 25 minutes owing to the haphazard and double parking on the road,” said Smriti Indulkar, an employee at an IT company in Lower Parel.

Another commuter Kanhan Panhalkar said, “The trucks and tempos occupy three lanes of the six-lane road, causing bottlenecks and traffic congestion. Neither the civic body nor the traffic police, take responsibility for the condition of the road and, nothing is done to find a solution to the chaos on the 5-km stretch. We reach office late owing to the traffic.”

The traffic police officers, however, said they ask vehicle owners to not park in no-parking zones. But when the drivers ask them where to park, the traffic cops have nothing to say. “Trucks need to park to unload consignments too, and we let them park in a single lane and ensure they do not cause any obstruction. If the trucks occupy more than one lane, we impose a fine on them. We asked the BMC to create 50,000 new parking spaces about four months ago. We have not heard from them yet,” said a traffic policeman.

Vilas Palave, an on-duty traffic police officer outside Indiabulls Finance Centre, said the trucks unload their consignments at this junction creating a bottle neck. “We fine them if they stand for longer than they should. A number of trucks are fined every day for either parking their truck for too long or in more than one lane,” said Palave.

First Published: Dec 26, 2017 16:40 IST