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South Bombay residents say BMC’s new pay-and-park policy ‘exorbitant’, refuse to pay

Residents have refused to pay, claiming that charges under the new BMC policy are exorbitant.

mumbai Updated: Feb 24, 2018 10:27 IST
Eeshanpriya  M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
mumbai,pay and park,Altamount Road
The contractor has asked the traffic police on Friday to tow their cars if residents refused to pay.(HT file photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has earned the ire of residents of Altamount Road, an upmarket street in South Mumbai, after the BMC issued a new policy for paid parking on the street.

According to a contract recently allotted by the civic body for the maintenance of a multi-storey public pay-and-park on Altamount Road, the contractor can charge up to Rs120 per hour, or Rs 6000 per month, for street parking within 500 meters on either side of the public pay-and-park.

The street side parking lots are mostly used by residents of this street.

The Altamount Road area citizens’ committee has objected to the street parking fee for being ‘exorbitant’ and refused to pay.

Ashok Batra, president of the citizens’ committee, said, “There is no reason for the BMC to charge such a hefty amount for street parking. The buildings on this street are old, and do not have parking space. Residents park their cars on the street. We are willing to be charged under the residential parking policy. It is more regularised as housing societies are point of contacts with BMC.”

According to the recently approved residential parking scheme, citizens are allowed to park on the roads at night for a monthly fee ranging from Rs600 to Rs1,800 for 12 hours (from 8pm to 8am).

“If it is part of the terms of contract, the contractor can charge parking fees. As for the concerns raised by residents of Altamount Road, we will have to look into the matter,” said a senior civic official.

Meanwhile, SS Multi Services, the contractor of Altamount Road’s public pay-and-park, wrote to the traffic police on Friday asking them to tow cars that refused to pay the prescribed charges.

Rishabh Tripathi, General Manager of SS Multi Services, said, “Our contract allows us to charge money for street parking. Without that, we will be at a loss while maintaining the pay-and-park. It is a four-year contract, and we cannot bear such a heavy loss for four years.”

The civic body was keen on starting public parking in the area, owing to its proximity with Jaslok Hospital, which is located about 600 meters away and lacks sufficient parking space.

The public parking lot at Altamount street became operational one year ago. BMC had then disallowed street parking within 500 meters of the parking lot, but subsequently reduced this no-parking zone to 50 meters within the parking lot, owing to opposition from the residents.

The contract for the maintenance of the public parking area, with the new terms, was renewed in February.

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 10:25 IST