The ambitious underground parking project at Jhula Maidan in Byculla has finally been scrapped by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The decision came after several residents, including local MLA Waris Pathan of AIMIM, opposed the project citing it would worsen traffic issues in area.
On March 11, 2019, the BMC issued a notice about the cancellation of tenders, floated for the proposed underground parking at Jhula Maidan, a heritage site.
The Rs 55-crore project was first planned in 2018, when Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta had proposed two underground parkings — below Raosaheb Patwardhan Park in Bandra West and below Jhula Maidan in Byculla — in the BMC Budget 2018-19.
“From the day it was first proposed and tenders were floated, many residents were against the project. Their point was that the project will destroy Jhula Maidan and for at least two years, they will not be able to use the gardens. Besides, creating additional parking lots in the area will add more vehicular traffic burden on surrounding areas. The roads in the localities are already congested and narrow. It will create chaos in the area.
Considering all these factors, we have decided to cancel the project,” said an official from the Building Construction department, which is part of the planning of the project. “Local MLA Waris Pathan had also backed residents’ view. We have scrapped the project,” he said.
According to plan, Jhula Maidan underground parking lot was to spread across 4,000 sqm with a capacity to accommodate 464 cars and two-wheelers. The BMC had even made changes in Development Control Rules that barred underground parking below heritage sites.
The BMC’s second underground parking lot below Patwardhan Park has also been put on hold after residents opposed the project raising concerns over destruction of green cover.