Corporators of the ruling party in the BMC took a U-turn and passed a proposal to increase parking charges in the city. The Shiv Sena-BJP combine is the ruling party in the BMC, while the Samajwadi Party and Congress corporators are in the opposition. MiD DAY had reported how the Improvements committee had rejected the proposal, as all corporators were opposed to the move (‘‘Poor’ car owners cannot pay higher parking fees: BMC’, December 1). In fact, the elected representatives had instead demanded that the charges be reduced.
In a meeting held yesterday, however, the ruling party corporators decided to support the move. Congress and Samajwadi Party vehemently spoke against the plan. But, the proposal got a majority of 11 against 10, and will now be tabled in the general body meeting. It is likely to be cleared in a month’s time. After it gets the final nod, the new scheme will be implemented from November 2014, when the current contracts for maintenance of parking areas expire.
Ram Barot, chairman of the committee, who is from the BJP, said, “There was no option but to pass it. The proposal has got a green signal from all political party leaders in the BMC. ” Barot referred to a meeting of group leaders of all parties, which was held last week.
In this meeting, which Barot also attended, leaders agreed to pass the proposal. Thus, the corporators decided to change their decision. Ashraf Azmi, the Samajwadi corporator from Kurla, tore the copy of the proposal. He said, “Though our party leader in the BMC did not object to it, I am strongly against it, as it will affect even common people who have small cars. The charges are too high and should be reduced.”
Congress corporator Mohasin Haidar too tore the copy and threw it at the chairman. “In the last meeting, all members from the ruling party opposed the hike. Suddenly, they cleared it in next meeting. I smell something fishy,” Haidar told this newspaper. The new charges are meant to discourage people from taking out their cars, especially in south Mumbai, to aid in decongestion. The BMC has divided parking lots in three categories, based on business, the average revenue it receives from a particular slot, and parking timings. The busiest slots are put together in the ‘A’ category, while the lesser and least busy are divided in ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories respectively.
Category A: Most populated commercial complexes, important government and private offices, areas that witness maximum footfalls
Category B: Areas with general commercial areas and office premises
Category C: Smaller commercial areas that have lesser known usage of vehicles