MUMBAI: After giving a “special” exemption to residents of Shivaji Park area in the island city, the civic administration has now decided to waive off penalty for residents across Mumbai parking on roads near their homes despite having a public parking lot within 500 metres.
Locals will be issued passes and charged a monthly fee for parking on roads in their neighbourhood. However, this is not applicable to those who do not stay in the particular neighbourhood but park on the roads in the area. Besides, residents of societies that have parking space cannot avail of this facility.
Residents living in areas around public parking lots have been opposing the BMC’s move last year to impose steep penalties.
The BMC commissioner’s office said the civic chief has asked ward officers to coordinate with the traffic department and identify roads where parking can be allowed after examining the requirements of the local residents.
On Wednesday, TOI reported about two questionable decisions—largely favouring residents of Shivaji Park— of BMC to drop parking penalties and to allow vehicles to be parked on 15 roads that were designated no-parking zone in G-North ward, comprising Shivaji Park, Dadar (west) and Matunga (west).
Reacting to the BMC’s decision, Bandra corporator Asif Zakaria said, “This means they (BMC) are accepting that earlier they committed a mistake by implementing the (No Parking) policy haphazardly without any planning. It also means that the penalty imposed on local residents close to these PPLs earlier were wrong, so they should return their money.” He added, “It seems that the BMC not taken the Parking Authority into confidence. If you have the authority to suggest you on parking issue, but you are not taking their suggestion to implement related policy.”
Sources said the Mumbai Parking Authority, headed by former IAS officer Gautam Chatterjee, was not taken into confidence when the BMC took the decision to give Shivaji Park residents an exemption.
The BMC has set up the parking authority to deal with the city’s traffic problem, study vehicles movements, road congestion and advise on-off street parking.
Sources said that earlier also when the BMC took the decision to impose heavy penalty for parking near PPLs, it had not discussed with the Parking Authority. After Chatterjee expressed his disagreement over the penalties, the BMC revised them in January.