BMC Election: Despite parking problems in Mumbai, why aren't politicos tackling the issue?

Feb 08, 2017, 08:05 IST | Shashank Rao

BMC has parking space for just 0.43 per cent of the city’s total vehicles, but political will is lacking to tackle this issue

Finding parking space in this city is daily hell for lakhs of Mumbaikars, but this remains a problem that few political leaders want to touch.

For years, any sort of parking policy for the city has remained solely on paper, while private and public vehicles are parked haphazardly on the road or wherever they can find some open space. Yesterday, a group of transport experts and NGOs held a meeting to discuss the city’s parking issues and pointed out several concerns.

Jam-parked
There are a total of 28 lakh vehicles registered in Mumbai. If they were to be placed bumper to bumper, they would occupy as much as 3,300 km of road space. However, Mumbai has just 1,900 km of roads. No wonder this city has so many traffic jams.

What’s more, the BMC’s pay-and-park facilities can accommodate just 0.43 % of the total vehicles.

Also read: Elderly couple in Bandra harassed over parking space
Elderly couple in Bandra harassed over parking space 

Public transport
While the city a total of 1.5 lakh auto rickshaws and kaali-peeli taxis, there just aren’t enough taxi/auto stands for parking. Currently, the cabbies and auto drivers have to fight for space in 300 stands spread across the city, even as 1,200 stands have gone missing or been encroached over time.

“The drivers are forced to haphazardly park their cabs wherever they find space. We have been telling the government to make provision for a long time,” said AL Quadros, of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union.

“The government should ensure that parking spaces for these black-and-yellow taxis and autos are provided depending on the locality,” said AV Shenoy from the Mumbai Vikas Samiti, who was present for the meeting.

Also read: Mumbai: It's still 'no parking' for displaced airport cabbies

Pay to park
Experts claim that the parking problem will continue to worsen unless citizens are charged for it. Every inch of road is precious in Mumbai, said experts, and citizens should be made to pay accordingly if they take up this valuable space by parking their vehicles during peak hours.

Experts have also suggested that Mumbai adopt the odd-even system that Delhi had experimented with last year.

Apart from this, they also recommended marking certain days for ‘no parking on public roads’. This would mean that either road parking at certain locations would be barred or high fees will be levied. Transport experts feel that not only will this reduce parking pressure locality-wise, but also would help in planning and allocating future parking spaces at individual locations throughout the city.

Also read: Mumbai Crime: 65-year-old fisherwoman thrashed over parking space tiff
Mumbai Crime: 65-year-old fisherwoman thrashed over parking space tiff 

Official speak
“We have already given our suggestions to the state government on the parking issues,” said Transport Commissioner Praveen Gedam.

Solutions
>> Proposal to create 56,000 parking spots, including multi-storied pay-and-park lots, provided either by MCGM or on public-private partnership

>> One parking slot in a multi- storey lot needs 300 sq ft of gross space. Even at an FSI of 4, a parking lot for 200 cars will require 15,000 sq ft land.

>> The charges at such a parking lot can be pegged at a minimum of Rs 50/hr

>> Adopt odd-even parking and ban parking on public roads in certain areas

Ballpark(ing) figures

28 lakh
Total vehicles in Mumbai

1.05 lakh
Autos

42K
Kaali-peelis

21K
App-based taxis

5K
Fleet cabs

1,900 km
Total road network in Mumbai

3,300 km
Space needed if city’s cars are arranged bumper to bumper

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