Park for free for three months at BMC's hi-tech lot

In news that will be welcome for motorists commuting to Lower Parel and Mahalaxmi, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation intends to finalise its parking policy in three months, and until then, it is going to provide complimentary parking at an upcoming civic facility in the area for the first three months after its creation.

The lot at Apollo Mills in Lower Parel that the BMC acquired last year from a private developer; it will be under electronic surveillance. File pics

The parking lot, which will come up at Apollo Mills Compound in Lower Parel, was acquired by the BMC earlier and can accommodate over 650 cars. It is expected to be opened to the public by June 24. In the first three months, parking will be free for eight hours after which a charge of Rs 15 per hour will be levied.

Web-regulated service
The Apollo Mills lot will also be the first to have the BMC’s hi-tech web-based parking plan through which attendants will be able to give vehicle owners printed receipts from a hand-held device equipped with a software. The web system will also allow motorists to choose a parking slot online.

The practice will bring in more transparency and keep contractors from fleecing commuters with arbitrary charges. The first showcase for the web-based parking, and a demo of how it will function, will be done by July 15. Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “We will be opening the Apollo Mills parking lot that can accommodate over 650 cars at a time by June 24.

It will be free for eight hours for the initial three months, by the end of which time our parking policy will be ready. This lot will be safer and easier as it will have proper security arrangement, and citizens will nothave to worry about their cars.” The wheels for the public lot were set in motion last year when the BMC decided to erect a five-floor parking structure, of which two storeys will be underground. The additional municipal commissioner has stated that the order for the lot has been given.

The BMC is circulating pamphlets to make people working in and around the area aware of the parking amenities that will soon be made available to them. A senior official, requesting anonymity, said, “There is a lot of concern regarding the parking policy and the web-based parking the BMC is planning. This is most likely to be done in the next three months, as the administration is aware that the service cannot be given free forever. Hence, they will need a policy to decide on parking fees.” 

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