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OPPOSITION to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s recently implemented parking policy is gathering steam in South Mumbai, where residents are set to move court against the steeper rates for on-street parking.
About a month ago, residents of areas such as Churchgate and Marine Drive discussed their concerns with Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta. However, worried their suggestions could go unheeded, some residents are discussing litigation to seek a stay on the policy. Under the policy, a system of differential rates has been formulated for three categories of localities, depending on how crowded they are. The BMC is in the process of finalising tenders for contractors to manage 92 on-street and 12 off-street parking lots. Many South Mumbai residents who park their vehicles on streets.
The BMC came up with the policy more than two years ago, but it was stayed by the state in January 2015 after protest by residents’ associations of A Ward. Earlier this year, however, the state gave the civic body the go-ahead, after which new rates were imposed in areas such as Colaba and Cuffe Parade.
Prerak Choudhury, a south Mumbai resident and advocate, told The Indian Express he would file a public interest litigation in June, when the High Court re-opens after the summer break. “The residents are not happy with the arbitrary way in which the parking policy has been drafted and many of us are concerned that Ola and Uber cab drivers will occupy the places. Based on the actual number of cars that people own, there is a dearth of parking space in South Mumbai and there has to be a proper road map planned out before the policy is implemented,” said Choudhury.
Choudhury said the BMC needs to study the models in place countries such as Dubai and Singapore. “There is a lack of clarity in the policy and the people will suffer for it. In the petition, we will ask for immediate relief through a stay on the policy until all the stakeholders, especially the residents, are on board,” he said.
Choudhury is hoping to rope in the support of other residents.
Speaking in support of the initiative, Munaf Kapadia, a resident of Colaba, said that, “Even after we submitted to it a memorandum of our suggestions, the BMC has not given any formal response and has not addressed any of our concerns.”
While the civic officials don’t intend to give a formal response to the residents, an official from A ward said, “We have received applications from many parties. We have prepared a summary of the requests and have sent them to the Traffic Police for approval. We are yet to hear from them.”