Parked your vehicle on the street? Get ready to pay 4 times more
BMC wants residents to use multi-storey parking lots to avoid congested streetsUpdated: Mar 01, 2018 00:26 IST
It is time Mumbaiites put serious thought into where they park their vehicles.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made street parking at 18 locations in the city four times more expensive, to ensure that Mumbaiites use the city’s multi-storey Public Parking Lots (PPLs).
If you park your car on the street when there is an operational PPL within 500 meters, you will have to shell out up to Rs120 per hour or Rs420 beyond 12 hours.
There are 18 PPLs in Mumbai so far, located at Altamount Road, Lower Parel, Bandra, Santacruz, Andheri, Mulund, Kanjurmarg, Vikhroli and Goregaon.
While these multi-storey parking lots with a capacity to host between 400 to 2,000 vehicles remain empty, unruly street parking has become a notorious problem that BMC is struggling to tackle.
A senior civic official of the BMC’s road and traffic department said, “We want to encourage the culture of using the multi-storey PPLs. Vehicle owners simply do not want to make the effort of driving into a PPL. They think it is easier to park on the street and it is also free, but this leads to congestion. So we have made street parking rates within the radius of 500 metres of a PPL four times the cost of parking inside the parking lot.”
According to the civic body’s parking policy of 2015, it can charge up to four times more for street parking in exceptional cases.
Where street parking for a four wheeler is to cost Rs120 per hour, parking inside the parking lot will cost only Rs30 per hour.
Similarly, for two-wheelers, street parking is to cost Rs40 per hour, whereas parking inside the lot will cost only Rs10 per hour.
The civic official further said, “Maintaining a parking lot is expensive for the contractor, especially when no one parks cars there. That is another reason he can charge for street parking. As more people will use parking lots, we are likely to get better bids for maintaining them, considering the profit.”
However, this has not gone down well with residents. Last week, Hindustan Times reported that residents of Altamount Road, which has a PPL, have protested the ‘hefty’ street parking charges and refused to pay.
Ashok Batra,from Altamount Road Area Citizens’ Committee, said, “It’s the residents of this area who park on the street, as old buildings do not have so much parking space. How do you distinguish between a resident and a commuter? Or is it one of those polices that has not been thought through, and a loop hole is noticed while implementing it?”
Similarly, Asif Zakeria, corporator of the Bandra area where there is a PPL at Hill road, said, “These same charges are being levied for street parking here. This is a residential area, and there is a gaothan adjoining it. To discourage street parking, how can BMC implement only one policy, while ignoring the others, such as the residential parking policy? This money is now going in the contractor’s pocket.”
However, traffic and transport expert, Ashok Datar, has refuted the residents’ objections.
He said, “When it comes to parking, we take a lot of things for granted. The street is public property, but residents assume that they can indiscriminately use it for free, because it is under their house. A survey of the parking lots will show they are vacant, then why not use them even as residents of the area?”
However, he added, “BMC is very bad at publicity. It needs to publicise the PPLs sufficiently. There is also lack of awareness about the parking lots.”