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Traffic department asks for parking space under Mumbai's iconic maidans

A letter sent to the BMC warns that parking spaces in the island city have not increased proportionally with the number of vehicles, and proposes that underground parking be provided under Oval, Cross and Azad maidans

With 450 vehicles being registered in the city every day, the paucity of adequate parking space has reached new heights, claim traffic department officials.

The letter written by the traffic department to the BMC says that since many of the buildings in the island city date from the British era, they do not have parking space within their premises. File picThe letter written by the traffic department to the BMC says that since many of the buildings in the island city date from the British era, they do not have parking space within their premises. File pic

Having brainstormed over fresh solutions to this growing crisis, the traffic department has sent a proposal to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), proposing the construction of underground parking facilities below the three iconic maidans in the island city the Oval, the Cross and Azad maidans.

The letter, which is dated May 12, asks the BMC to help seek out parking alternatives in the city. It says, ‘In comparison to the number of vehicles, roads have become smaller, and traffic problems have increased.

The letter adds, ‘Important governmental and non-governmental offices, educational institutes, art galleries, major railway stations, courts, and landmarks like the BSE and Crawford market are all in south Mumbai.

Thanks to these landmarks, vehicles in huge numbers come to the island city, but since many of the buildings in the area are from the British times, no parking facilities are available.

If the number of vehicles increases at such an alarming rate and parking issues are ignored, then there will be no place for vehicles on roads, in the near future.’

The letter goes on to add, “Permission should be given for underground parking at Azad maidan, Cross maidan and Oval maidan. If this is approved, the government will not have to look for other parking spaces in south Mumbai.

Officialspeak
Confirming its dispatch, Dr B K Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said, “Every day, hundreds of vehicles are added to the already existing number in the city, and parking has really become a problem.

To tackle this, we have sent a proposal to the BMC for underground parking below the three maidans in south Mumbai.”

According to statistics released by the traffic department, 450 vehicles are added to the city every day and by July 2013, there were an eye-popping 22.63 lakh vehicles.

“These will be pay-and-park facilities provided to motorists. Thousands of motorists will be benefited by these underground facilities.

The number of vehicles going to south Mumbai every day has risen, but no additional parking facilities have been provided for years.

This needs to be done immediately,” added Upadhyay. SVR Srinivasan, additional commissioner of BMC, said, “I have not yet received the proposal.”

He added that two years ago, when he was with the MMRDA, he had proposed that all three grounds be connected and made accessible to pedestrians – a proposal that was turned down by the BMC.

Expertspeak
Jitendra Gupta, transport expert, said, “This is a very good idea, but there may be some coastal issues involved, as the maidans are near the sea. One of the major problems plaguing the city will be solved. On pilot basis, at least one of the maidans can be used for underground parking.”

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