After getting special parking permissions from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for the pavement on M G Road since 1997, the Bombay Gymkhana Club’s hopes of getting an extension to continue using this parking space is now on indefinite hold with the Mumbai Collector informing Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta that the pavement on the road in fact belongs to the state government, and the BMC could not make any decision on its use.
Apart from the Bombay Gymkhana Club’s proposal for the extension of permissions, the proposal to shift the hawkers from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station area to the same parking has also been pending with the municipal commissioner for several weeks now. Senior officials however, said the BMC will push for the proposal of shifting hawkers instead.
“The shifting of hawkers is part of a larger project associated with the central government to decongest the CST area to improve pedestrian movement and we will apply for permissions from the state government for the same. The parking issue is, however, not a priority and is still undecided,” said the official.
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Collector Ashwini Joshi had sent the letter to Mehta on October 7. She pointed out that the pavement opposite Fashion Street on M G Road which is the entrance of the Bombay Gymkhana Club and is being used as a parking space does not belong to the BMC. “The land belongs to the state government who has given the responsibility of its maintenance to the Public Works Department,” the letter read.
The letter further informed the civic chief that the BMC cannot take any action in the matter of granting parking facility to the Bombay Gymkhana Club without obtaining permissions from the collector and the state government.
An official in the Collectorate said the BMC cannot give parking permissions to the Bombay Gymkhana Club. “When the space doesn’t belong to them then how can they take such a hefty parking fee from the Gymkhana? Even the PWD is unaware that the pavement falls within their jurisdiction,” said the official.
The BMC has been granting special permissions to allow parking in a prime location like M G Road exclusively for the members of the Bombay Gymkhana Club since 1997 on a quarterly or biannually for a significant fee. The permissions, however, had expired last month after which the club owners approached the civic body for an extension, this time for an entire year. Despite several efforts, the administrative officials of the Bombay Gymkhana Club could not be reached for a comment.