Mumbai See a public parking space nearby, but still park your car on the road? From July 7, you may be fined up to Rs 10,000 if the BMC catches you.To encourage people to use public parking lots instead of taking up space on the roads, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Praveen Pardeshi has asked all assistant commissioners in BMC’s 24 administrative wards to impose the fine on vehicle owners who park their cars within a 1-km radius of public parking lots. Mumbai has 146 public parking spaces, with a capacity to hold 34,808 two-wheelers and four-wheelers. However, many cars are still parked on main roads, leading to traffic jams. The Mumbai traffic police and BMC are in talks about how to impose the penalty. “When the BMC removes encroachments or debris, we recover the removal cost from the person concerned,” said Pardeshi. “By the same logic, we will consider private vehicles parked on public roads as encroachments and recover the removal cost from vehicle owners. There is already a circular for this; only the rates have been revised.”The BMC’s fine would range from Rs1,000 to Rs 10,000 — based on the cost of towing the vehicle, and the cost of the plot, had it been rented to park vehicles. Pardeshi said the decision to impose the hefty fines was also to clear roads of congestion when the fleet of BEST buses rises. “We have already increased the BEST bus fleet by 20%, and by the end of the year, we aim to double the current fleet. We will need roads to be free of congestion for good public transport service. Madhukar Pandey, the joint commissioner of police (traffic), met Pardeshi recently. “The seven zonal deputy commissioners have been called for a meeting on Thursday with the traffic department, where we will discuss the details of implementing the decision,” Pandey said.An assistant commissioner, requesting anonymity, said, “It is true that citizens often park their vehicles right outside parking lots and on congested roads. We realise imposing such a high fine will be a challenge. We have also been asked to hire ex-servicemen as per our requirements in each ward. Once we get instructions, we can start with implementing the decision.”Samajwadi Party leader Rais Shaikh said the BMC must first get the nod of the general body before such a policy decision is made. “However, it is also true that a strong mechanism is needed to curb parking outside parking lots and on roads. The BMC can only declare parking and no-parking zones, but whether it is has the authority to fine people needs to be studied,” he said.