Authorities must clear mental block about parking

People are ready to shell out lakhs and even crores on fancy, hi-tech cars and bikes. But taking them onto the road is a menace. Even if one manages to drive on the traffic congested, pothole-ridden roads of Mumbai, finding a decent parking space, is nothing less than a nightmare. On Wednesday mid-day reported about residents from Chira Bazaar parking their vehicles almost 4-km away at Nariman Point as they fail to find parking space in their area.

The allotted parking spots meant for local residents, have been taken over by tempos and trucks of transporters who unload their goods there. The hapless residents have been running from pillar to post, approaching various authorities right from the civic body to the traffic police; but to no avail. mid-day had reported on the issue on Wednesday, and a complainant who spoke about the apathy, has been beaten up. This shows the extent of the problem Mumbaikars have been facing over parking issues.

The politicians of the state should take the problem of parking in Mumbai very seriously. The civic body formulated the Parking Policy but the politicians who seemed to have some nefarious interest against it - blatantly opposed it without thinking.

Double and even triple parking is seen on several roads across Mumbai. Auto rickshaws, taxis, trucks, tempos, buses and even private cars and bikes are haphazardly parked. Already there is hardly any respect for pedestrians; many motorists park their vehicles on footpaths regardless of the difficulties it could pose to people. There are meetings and discussions on the need for providing better parking areas in Mumbai, sadly, nothing gets done.

Multi-level parking lots are proposed and built, but only at selected places. The BMC announced the construction of 58 parking lots, of which only three are ready. The government seems disinterested in putting a cap on number of vehicles in Mumbai. This city needs vertical development thanks to the land constraints, and unless the babus, planners, thinkers and politicians think of doing something even about issues like parking, Mumbai roads will be reduced to being congested by a chain of vehicles.

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