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Even with parking lots, vehicles face space crunch at BKC

In the second part of our series on Bandra-Kurla Complex, we find that MMRDA’s open parking lots are always full, leaving cars with no choice but to hog space illegally on the road

Finding space to park your car or two-wheeler is a task, say Mumbaikars. In the second instalment of mid-day’s series on issues affecting the Bandra-Kurla Complex, office-goers told us that it is very difficult to find space to park one’s car in the commercial area, since the open parking lots are always full. There is a multi-level car parking (MLCP) facility, but people find its charges to high.

Also read: BKC needs more public transport

Traffic department tows away vehicles parked illegally on the roads. But drivers mostly sit inside the cars, and on spotting the towing van, move away. They then return later to claim the spot illegally again. File pic
Traffic department tows away vehicles parked illegally on the roads. But drivers mostly sit inside the cars, and on spotting the towing van, move away. They then return later to claim the spot illegally again. File pic

The business district is home to many offices of government companies, and many national and multinational organisations. There are three pay-and-park zones and a MLCP facility created by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). According to the people working at BKC, the three parking lots with a combined capacity of 1,500 cars - are filled up in no time.

Steep charges
On Monday, when we visited the road outside MMRDA’s headquarters at BKC, we found cars stationed illegally beside the footpath, since the parking lots had no space. Drivers were seen sitting inside the vehicles. A driver, requesting anonymity, said, “Finding parking in BKC is a tough task. We park our car and sit inside because the parking lot is mostly full. We need more parking lots.”

Vehicles are parked illegally on the road, since office-goers find the open parking lots full and the multi-level parking expensiveVehicles are parked illegally on the road, since office-goers find the open parking lots full and the multi-level parking expensive

The traffic police tows away vehicles parked illegally during the day, but this hardly matters. Drivers sitting inside simply move away on sighting the towing van, and reclaim the spot after the van leaves. Some say they are waiting for their boss to arrive.

On the other hand, the posh multi-level 800-car parking facility is largely ignored less than half of it is used up. The facility charges Rs 20 for the first hour for cars, and for every additional 30 minutes, you have to pay Rs 7, though your vehicles is safer within the confines of the building that also has CCTV cameras. Yet, if you park your car for a minimum of eight hours, you will end up paying nearly Rs 120 every day only for parking.

For two-wheelers, the charge is Rs 5 for an hour, and Rs 3 for every additional half hour. Sagar More, who visits BKC for work, said, “The authorities need to solve this parking issue, because finding parking space that doesn’t cost a bomb is very difficult. I come to the G Block and park on the road, because MMRDA charges are very steep for its MLCP.”

Col R S Bhandari, the chief coordinator of Area Security Advisory Panel (ASAP), G Block Association at BKC, which takes care of security measures in the area, told this paper, “Drivers want to pocket the parking money (to be paid at parking lots) and that’s why they park on the road. We have already written a letter to the Traffic department, highlighting various parking related issues in BKC and the way these issues can be addressed.”

Bhandari also called for proper signage to be installed on the main road to direct motorists towards the pay-and-park facilities, an absence of which also contributes to cars hogging space on the road. The special cycling track created by MMRDA at BKC is also used to park vehicles and motorcycles.

MMRDA Speak
Commenting on the issue, MMRDA’s Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “It’s true that MMRDA’s parking rates are higher compared to some of the BMC’s pay-and-park zones, but our parking lot is highly sophisticated, high-tech and safe.

In other lots, vehicles get damaged and proper care is not taken.” Kawathkar added that he had written to the Traffic department asking them to install signage for parking lots. Traffic authorities couldn’t be reached for comment.

Voices

Sagar More, visits BKC for work
I come to the G Block and park on the road, because MMRDA’s charges are very steep for its multi-level car parking. The pay-and-park lots are always full.

Sumit G, visits BKC regularly
Entry of private bikes is restricted in most buildings for security reasons. So, I park my bike at MMRDA's parking facility, which is expensive as compared to normal parking lots.

Rs 20: Minimum parking charge at the multi-level car parking lot

Rs 7: Additional charge every 30 mins at multi-level parking

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