Mumbai school, locals at war over parking spot in Grant Road
BMC officials seen demolishing illegal shops near Haji Ali Dargah. Pics/ Bipin Kokate
There’s a fight going on at Wadilal Podar Road, and it’s over parking space. The area’s residents, who have been parking their vehicles in the lane for years, haven’t taken kindly to the barricades that authorities at the newly opened Edubridge International School have put up, creating restrictions.
A former civic councillor from the locality and a resident, Ramesh Naik, said, “This is a new school, with one gate for entry and one for exit. Its drivers have trouble reversing the buses, and hence, the authorities are now acting smart by putting up barricades or “no parking” boards. They have also put large stones in the lane to stop us from parking there. If any resident is away from his/her vehicle for even a few minutes, the car gets towed away.”
There are around 10 residential buildings in the lane and society members of all have come together and approached the traffic police with their issue. “When we approached the traffic police, three meetings were held to arrive at a solution, but no school representative attended any. They are just harassing us for no reason,” Naik added.
“In fact, the school has become a headache for us; whenever it starts and ends for the day, there are more than 40 vehicles in the lane, private cars dropping and picking up children, causing chaos.”
Another resident said, “There’s always been a school at this spot; earlier, it was Robert Money School. So, we are used to managing traffic in the lane in a manner that school buses can move with ease. But this school is acting smart. The buildings here are old and there isn’t enough space to park cars inside the compound.”
The other side
Reacting to the residents’ complaint, school’s campus manager Subodh Anand said, “There is rampant illegal parking near our school by people from the neighbourhood. Because of this, there is chaos and our buses can’t enter the campus. The entire lane is, in fact, a no-parking stretch. Recently, even the traffic police had put up no-parking boards near the school for our buses’ smooth movement and to ensure children’s safety. We are not doing anything illegal.”
When asked about the meetings convened by residents with the traffic police, for which the school was called, to resolve the issue amicably, Anand said, “There were no such meetings.”
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