AFTER THE Bombay High Court (HC) on November 21 said that there has to be designated parking spaces in Mumbai amid an increase in the number of vehicles, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that it has finished framing the nine-step comprehensive parking management of The Mumbai Parking Authority (MPA), and is set to legally incorporate the authority in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act.
At present the civic body has no legal authority to impose fines for illegal parking. However, the provisions in the drafted MPA will empower it to act against the menace.
The BMC floated an idea to form the MPA, an exclusive body to monitor the entire parking infrastructure in Mumbai through a centralised digital system.
Prachi Merchant, an urban planner currently working with the BMC in forming the MPA, said that the project has been classified into nine different segments, including framing a legal set-up, guidelines about the policy, creating an IT interface, a ward-wise parking management plan, installation of road-signages, empowering the BMC with enforcement powers, communication and sensitisation programme, creating a scrapyard and framing a Mumbai parking pool.
Subscriber Only Stories
Merchant said that the draft of all the nine programmes have been finalised and all required NOCs have been acquired by the civic body, which plans to launch the pilot project early next year.
“The first step is to incorporate the MPA in the MMC Act, which will make BMC the sole authority to plan and implement the entire parking infrastructure of Mumbai. After this, comes the IT part in which we will appoint a firm to create a digital platform and a mobile application enabling us to create a centralised data system,” Merchant told The Indian Express.
She said that the BMC is going to float a Request for Proposal (RFP) for appointing an IT company by end of this year, and the process of framing the legal set up will be carried out simultaneously by the administration.
“The app will enable citizens to see the available parking spaces across Mumbai, which they can book immediately by making online payment. We have finalised four municipal wards, one each in south Mumbai, central Mumbai, eastern and western suburbs. Once the app is ready, the project will be started,” Merchant said.
The four finalised wards are, D (Malabar Hill, Nepean Sea Road), G-South (Worli), K-West (Andheri west) and S (Powai, Bhandup).
All the 24 municipal wards have readied their own parking management plan. However, these four wards have been selected for the pilot project. “It will take us at least six months to a year to study and analyse the pattern of the pilot project,” Merchant said. She also mentioned that a designated group of urban planners from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have carried out GIS mapping of all the existing roads and lanes of Mumbai and carried out a feasibility study of this project.
Following the pilot project, the corporation will fix a rate that citizens will have to pay as parking charges. “We spoke with stakeholders and transport associations to fix a rate. We will also carry out a sensitisation programme with citizens to ensure they understand the value of this project since today most of the citizens park their vehicles by roadside,” she said.
What authority says
P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects), who is heading this project said that the BMC will write to the state government by December to ensure that the amendments in the MMC Act is carried out during the Winter Session.
“At present, there is no parking data at the local level and the idea of framing the MPA is to make all the parking-related information available using a single software programme. The planning stage is complete and now we will implement it. Soon after the amendment is done, we will float tenders to set up the IT interface and appoint additional manpower for this project. With the MPA, the BMC will also have a designated department, that will look after the parking infrastructure of Mumbai,” Velrasu told The Indian Express.
In future, the BMC will also rope in housing societies and other authorities like MMRDA, MHADA and Port Trust for leasing their land parcels as parking spots, he added.
“If an agency leases their land, the revenue earned through parking could be shared. Also housing societies can lease out parking space of their premises that will enable them to earn revenue as well,” he said.
What people say
Appreciating the idea of framing an unified parking policy the citizens said that the civic body should expedite the process.
“The Idea of setting up MPA was floated three years back. The BMC should start the pilot project by next year because with time the volume of cars in city is increasing and with so many roads dug up there is a dire need of having a sole parking management system in Mumbai,” said Kailash Gupta, a Nepean Sea Road resident.
Some like Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Powai, feel that the civic body should also explore the option of redeveloping old public parking lots.