A day after the civic body started collecting hiked parking charges in some areas, corporators cutting across party lines slammed the Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for implementing the controversial parking policy ‘without informing the residents’. The corporators have demanded that people’s grievances be heard and the proposal re-opened for fresh discussions, if needed. Shiv Sena corporator and BEST committee chairman Anil Kokil raised the issue in the general body meeting, saying the policy should be scrapped.
“The increase in the parking rates has added a huge burden on the people. So, the policy needs to cancelled,” Kokil said. From Sunday, the BMC started collecting revised parking charges — amounting to an increase of 300 per cent — at a few areas such as Flora Fountain, Crawford Market, M G Road near the museum, Regal Cinema, near Eros cinema and Bombay Hospital, among others. Under the new policy, even local residents have to pay for parking their vehicles on the streets outside their building.
While four-wheelers were earlier charged Rs 15 per hour, they will now be charged Rs 60 per hour. Yashwant Jadhav, senior Sena corporator and leader in the BMC, said residents’ issues must be taken into account. “The issues raised by the people must be considered. Also, if required, the proposal should be re-opened for making changes to it,” said Jadhav. Jadhav, however, added that the policy was needed to manage the city’s traffic.
The BJP too expressed similar views. Manoj Kotak, BJP corporator and leader in BMC, said that the policy was required to ensure smooth vehicular movement, but residents must be taken into confidence before charges are collected from them. Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and leader in the BMC, demanded that the civic body cancel the section of the policy which levies charges on people for parking their vehicles on the street.
However, the civic administration said that the policy was being implemented as passed in 2015 by the general body. Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner, added that 50 parking lots would be given to self-help groups after a recent court order.