Two parking lots, with space for 150 vehicles, lie deserted in the heart of Dadar (West), unknown to motorists who struggle for parking space in the congested locale every day. Unbelievable as this may sound, the BMC’s habit of dragging its feet over all its people-friendly projects has made this a sad reality. The parking lots have been lying unused and vacant for a year now, while the BMC takes its own time to decide what to do with them.
The two parking lots are located near the G-north ward office there are slots for 42 cars in Star Mall, and slots for 110 at Parking Plaza. But the BMC’s lack of a clear policy on what to do with developed parking spaces that are handed over to it means that citizens have no access to this valuable facility.
“If the private developers have already handed over parking lots to the BMC, then the BMC is at fault. The concerned official should be held accountable,” said Ashok Rawat, a citizen activist from Dadar (West). Both parking lots were acquired by the BMC a year ago, but haven’t yet been available to the public, even though Dadar is one of the commercial hubs of the city, being home to hundreds of shops and a sprawling flower market.
According to Section 33 (24) of the Development Control Regulations (DCR), new construction on any plot over 1,000 square metres in the island city and over 2,000 square metres in the suburbs would get the developer additional FSI up to 4, if the firm agrees to build public parking lots and hand them over to the BMC for free. The policy was introduced in 2008.
To avail of this benefit, over 70 developers approached the BMC, 11 of whom obtained clearance. Officials of the civic administration however said that both parking lots are in the process of being opened to the public. Sharadchandra Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner of the G-north ward, said, “It is being processed and we are following up on the issue. Both parking lots will be made available soon. The ward has written to the traffic department about them.”
Meanwhile, MNS has seized the opportunity to raise a hue and cry, threatening to break the locks and forcing open the gates of the parking if the public aren’t given access to the same in 30 days. Meanwhile, the BMC has already earmarked 92 roads for pay-and-park zones. “The state government has already approved 29 sites, from where 29,500 public parking spaces will be available in the near future,” said a senior civic official. Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta remained unavailable for comment.
It would be a big relief if both parking lots are made available to the public, as many people came to Dadar for shopping. People are ready to pay but they don’t get parking space. - Jitendra Padwal, Dadar resident
Our business is affected because of the lack of parking space in Dadar (West). I often have to go all the way to Shivaji Park to meet my clients as they are afraid of coming to this area because of poor parking facilities. - Nitant Patkar, Dadar resident
There is a need for parking spaces. The lack of these parking facilities causes traffic. Every lane in Dadar is packed with vehicles. - Mandar Nerurkar, Dadar resident.