Cops, PMC press for pay-and-park zone on Laxmi Road
Say the crowded area could be easily targeted by anti-social elements like terrorists; claim staff employed to collect money will help keep tab on suspicious activities
It has been learnt that Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjeevkumar Singhal recently wrote letter to Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak to convert Laxmi Road into a pay-and-park zone to keep a tab vehicles parked on this shopping street to thwart possible terrorists attack, considering that the area is a shopping hub and attracts a large crowd.
Both Singhal and Pathak appeared to be okay with idea, especially against the backdrop of low intensity blasts that occurred on JM Road on
August 1, 2012. Based on the letter received from Singhal, Pathak put forth a proposal in this regard before the General Body for approval. He said, “I agree with the opinions expressed in the letter. The proposal may come for discussion soon. I hope the proposal gets approved, as it is the larger interest of the citizens.”
Pathak added that most of the shop owners on the Laxmi Road and their staff use the road for parking despite being provided with four different parking lots that were developed by PMC in the adjoining area. “Appointing people to collect money for providing pay-and-park facility on Laxmi Road will help us keep an eye for how long the vehicles are parked and on ant-social elements by strictly following the system. It may also prove useful in preventing vehicle thefts,” Pathak said.
Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol said safety was the department’s top priority and Laxmi Road was not an exception. “The PMC should start pay-and-park facility or make other parking for citizens. PMC should make adequate parking zones so that vehicles are not parked on the roads and footpaths.” Vishwas Pandhare, DCP of Traffic police department said security concerns were not just limited to Laxmi Road, but at other crowded locations such as JM Road, FC Road, Tilak Road, Karve Road and Shivaji Road.
Referring a survey about parking of vehicles on Laxmi Road, Pandhare said, “About 2,500 two-wheelers are parked every day of which 80 per cent belong to shopkeepers or their employees. For security reasons, having a pay-and-park facility is the need of the hour.” President of Maharashtra Gold Dealers and Goldsmith Federation Fatechand Rank,a who’s shop is on Laxmi Road, said all 900 businessmen in the area were supporting PMC for enforcing pay-and-park facility at its earliest, though they had opposed the same 15 years ago. “The PMC should also try to get more places for parking at Bhanuvilas Theatre and Hamal Adda,” he said.