Moving one step closer to setting up India’s first special parking authority, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon appoint urban planners and experts to create a Geographic Information System (GIS) map and a comprehensive database of all parking slots in Mumbai.
Last week, a proposal to appoint a team of planners and GIS experts was sent to officer on special duty (OSD), Ramanath Jha, who will supervise the process of formation of the Mumbai Parking Authority. The process will take about one year.
Earlier this year, the BMC created a budget for a parking authority along with a provision of Rs 3 crore. A team of 12 planners and GIS mapping experts will now be roped in for creating the database. This team will work in coordination with the 24 ward-level assistant municipal commissioners, along with assistance from the All India Institute of Local Self-Government.
Locating parking spaces in Mumbai is often a harrowing experience. There are currently 91 on-street parking sites and 47 off-street locations or constructed parking lots, together accounting for a little over 20,000 vehicles. In contrast, according to RTO data from this January, Mumbai is home to 32 lakh vehicles.
The Development Control Regulations of the Development Plan 2034 has proposed to set up an independent parking authority to tackle the city’s parking woes. Currently, parking lots are managed by the BMC’s Roads and Traffic department. According to the BMC’s Comprehensive Mobility Plan, the city will need parking slots for 2.80 lakh vehicles by 2019. With current trends, the city is expected to scale up available parking slots to 70,000 by 2019 — or 25 per cent of the projected requirement.
A senior civic official, who is part of the team working on the formation of a Parking Authority, said: “This is mainly to map all parking slots available and put them on this GIS system. We need a new team of planners who will work for all the 24 wards. The work of the planners will be certified by ward officers as they know the local areas better. The planners will start interacting with people, housing societies, malls, commercial establishments, etc to discuss the sharing of their parking spaces for public purposes.”
Though initially, the plan was to appoint planners for a six-month period, the BMC has now decided on a one-year contract for the planners.
A senior official from the BMC said, “We have gone through the rules and regulations followed by parking authorities in international cities such as London, Toronto and some cities in the US. They have their own laws and that will be a guiding factor, but many things have to be customised for Indian requirements. But they are a good guide, and one doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel.”