Succumbing to mounting pressure from the traffic police department and social activists to allow parking along G A Kulkarni Road, one of the five 80-ft roads in the city, the PMC has finally removed 'No Parking' tag from the stretch flanked by shopping and entertainment hubs.
Your call: About eight such 'No Parking' boards are still seen on the
80-feet Late G A Kulkarni Road, while the civic body has put up the
P2 signboards alongside;
Though the civic body hurriedly put up P-2 boards, which allows parking on even dates such as 2 and 4, on the stretch, they cared little to remove 'No Parking' signboards from the scene, creating confusion among motorists. The traffic police and the social activists were demanding installation of P 1, which allows parking only on odd dates like 1 and 3, and P 2 parking boards on the road for the past one month, but the PMC has put up only P-2 boards for reasons better known to them.
Copy of the PMC order legalising parking on the road. Pic/ Vivek Sabnis
According to sources, the civic body officials might have made the goof-up in a bid to meet the 24-hour deadline set by Sajag Nagrik Manch (SNM), a social organisation that had threatened to launch an agitation on Thursday if the PMC fails to install parking boards on either sides of the road in 24-hours time. Vishwas Sahastrabuddhe, from SNM with others had organised a signature campaign for making the 80-feet road free for parking by taking 1,500 signatures of the citizens.
So what served as the trigger to the agitation? The SNM activists have been witnessing the PMC's towing vehicles used to tow away two-wheelers parked along the roadside and impose a fine from motorists. "This is the only 80-feet road in the city where parking is not allowed. We really don't understand the logic behind making this road parking free when a multiplex theatre and a mall are located on the stretch," said Sahastrabuddhe.
Last year, Members of the social organisation had discussed the issue of installation of parking boards on the stretch with former DCP (Traffic) Manoj Patil and PMC Traffic Planner Shrinivas Bonala. "Receiving no response to our letter neither from the traffic police department or the PMC, I sent a reminder to Bonala asking why the parking boards were not installed on the road," Sahastrabuddhe said.
"Thankfully, the present DCP Vishwas Pandhare responded this time and, on November 21, sent a directive to the PMC to install the sign boards at the earliest," he added. Vivek Velankar, President, SNM, said, "We dared Bonala to stage an agitation, wherein the activists would 'beg money for PMC to purchase parking boards' before his office, if the boards are not installed within 24 hours."
Velankar claims he called up Bonala and warned him about the agitation at 11.45 am on Wednesday. "And, in the next 15-minutes, I received a call from Bonala about installing P-1 and P-2 boards on the 80-feet road at Kothrud," he added.
When this reporter visited the spot, he found only three 'P-2' boards were put up just behind the 'No Parking' board, creating confusion among commuters. "What is the real board 'No Parking' or 'P-2'?" asked Smita Kulkarni, a middle-aged shopper, and whizzed.