The BMC is mulling upon a new proposal that could make it near impossible for people with non-Mumbai vehicles to find parking space.

On June 21, the corporation will discuss introducing a new rule that will allow street parking only for vehicles that are registered in Mumbai. What this means is that vehicles registered outside Mumbai will not be allowed to park on the roads. The proposal also suggests that pay-and-park lots should reserve 75% space for Mumbai vehicles at cheaper rates, while charging non-Mumbai vehicles extra for parking in the remaining 25% space.

Finding parking space could soon become a near impossible task for those with non-Mumbai vehicles. File pics
Finding parking space could soon become a near impossible task for those with non-Mumbai vehicles. File pics

Currently, there are about 25 lakh vehicles registered at RTOs across Mumbai, but there are far more automobiles on the road. On any given day, about 10% of the vehicles — at least 2.5 lakh — are from outside the Mumbai municipal limits. Many travel from their homes in Thane or Navi Mumbai to their workplaces in Mumbai, and these are the people who will be hit hardest. Recent MMRDA statistics show that only half of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region’s population lives in Mumbai. The rest live in Navi Mumbai, Vasai-Virar, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli and other areas. But Mumbai still has a whopping 70% of all formal jobs in the MMR region.

The MNS has supported the move, but with a rider. Sandeep Deshpande, MNS group leader in the BMC, said, “Such things are done even in London, but they have good public transport infrastructure to make up for it. However, in Mumbai we do not have good infrastructure. I support this move, provided our infrastructure is worked upon.”

According to a senior official from the municipal secretary’s department, this issue has been ongoing for some time now, and has once again found its place in the agenda.

The agenda for the June 21 meeting will be circulated to all the corporators within a few days and also mentions various other issues that will be discussed by the corporators.

Expert speak
“I don’t think this is a fair idea. These are merely superficial solutions. In foreign countries, they do not encourage private vehicles. In Shanghai, the road tax is 90%, in Singapore it is 120% and here it is just 10%. First, we should curb the number of vehicles in Mumbai by increasing road tax; this will reduce the number of vehicles on road. Then we can impose restrictions on vehicles coming from outside as well,” he said.

“For years, the government has been sitting on this issue; it is high time they come out with a well-studied policy to tackle parking woes,” said transport expert Ashok Datar.