SoBo’s parking woes persist

Mumbai: Five months after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) unveiled its new parking policy in Ward A of south Mumbai following court orders, it remains a non-starter as 28 housing societies that are part of the scheme are yet to receive no-objection certificates (NOC) from the Mumbai traffic police. The policy was started on a pilot project basis in Ward A — which includes Colaba, Churchgate, Cuffe Parade and Kala Ghoda — in April this year but the civic body may not extend it to other administrative wards in view of the fact that it is yet to be implemented.
According to the policy, residents who do not have sufficient parking space in their society can apply to the civic body to avail of a parking space, which will be allotted from 8 pm to 8 am on an annual permit. The charges range from Rs 600 to Rs 1,200.
Under the policy, the city is divided into three categories — A, B and C — to categorise parking rates. Thus, residents of affluent areas like south Mumbai would be charged Rs 60 per hour while citizens from the western suburbs would pay as little as Rs 20 per hour.  
Civic sources have said that there are apprehensions about the parking allotments being misused.  “The residential parking spaces are yet to receive an NOC from the traffic department. Only after that can we proceed with allotting the spaces to the residents. However, it seems like that the policy will not work out,” said a senior civic official. When contacted by The Asian Age, a traffic police officer confirmed that the department has not given any NOC yet, but did not disclose any further information about the same.
The Asian Age had reported in its August 13 edition about how residential parking spaces had not received a NOC from the traffic department. The procedure to grant spaces became tedious for the civic body after the residents demanded a 24-hour parking facility, which caused a delay in seeking the traffic clearance. “There are low chances that the policy will be implemented because roads have already been dug up in Colaba for concretisation, so now where they will demarcate the space? Residents of heritage buildings have no other option other than parking on roads due to low availability of space. We are going to write a letter to BMC demanding to scrap this policy,” said Pervez Cooper of the Clean Heritage Colaba Residents Association.
Stats against the city
According to state records, Mumbai has around 22 lakh registered vehicles and a floating vehicular population of nearly 2.5 lakh. Mumbai has around 92 pay and park facilities that can accommodate around 12,800 vehicles. With space available for parking of only 8,700 four wheelers, 3,850 two wheelers and 180 tempos and lorries, the remaining vehicles end up getting parked on street sides. Though car ownership in Mumbai is (32 cars per 1,000 persons) parking provision is (2.17 parking spaces per 100 cars) if street-side parking is included which leads to traffic woes.  

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