Mumbai's roads aren't available for free. That's the message the civic body is sending out with its new pay-and-park policy. You will now have to shell out anywhere between Rs 20 to Rs 60 per hour to park your vehicle along the side of a road in the city.

As of now, the Mumbai traffic police have identified 300 spots where the new policy will be implemented, and BMC chief Ajoy Mehta has instructed ward officials to start it on priority.

Cars parked by the road at Worli and Bandra (below). The pay-and-park policy was first introduced in 2015. Pics/ Shadab Khan and Bipin Kokate

The decision was taken during a review meeting over the weekend, and the policy is likely to kick-start before the end of this year.

According to the new plan, citizens will have to pay up to 200 per cent more than what they are currently charged for parking at the civic pay-and-park lots. The areas will be identified under three categories -- Zone A, B and C, and charges will vary accordingly. For instance, parking in Zone A, which includes parts of South and Central Mumbai, will cost you R60 per hour, while B and C, which includes the suburbs, will cost Rs 40 and Rs 20, respectively.

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The pay-and-park policy was first introduced in 2015, but was put on hold after it faced stiff resistance from residents of Churchgate and Colaba. The stay was lifted in January this year, but the implementation was delayed after several citizen bodies once again, protested the move. However, after the Mumbai traffic police carried out the exercise of listing new parking lots, the civic body has finally decided to go ahead with the much-delayed policy.

Currently, the city has only 92 on-street parking lots. These 200 new lots will be added to the existing list. This addition is likely to accommodate over 12,000 two-wheeler and over 11,000 four-wheeler vehicles across the city.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta has instructed all the 24 ward officials to introduce E-spot quotations (tenders) for running these 300-odd parking lots on a priority basis and these quotations will be valid for six months.

After successful conversion of the free spaces to pay-and-park, the BMC will issue fresh e-tenders next year. A senior official, who was present at the review meeting, said, "The new policy will also help the BMC generate revenue."

One of the ward officials, requesting anonymity, said, "We had tried to implement the street pay-and-park policy earlier, but there was no response from contractors, who will be managing these new locations."

VP Chithore, chief engineer of BMC road and traffic department, was unavailable for comment.