Traffic top cop opens up Mumbai's footpaths for its pedestrians
Taking note of mid-day’s campaign against parking on footpaths, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Dr B K Upadhyay has taken up the task of ridding the city’s pavements of illegal parking lots and encroachments, and returning the walkways to Mumbaikars.
Traffic cops were seen taking action against vehicles parked on the footpath: they were being towed, licences of errant drivers were confiscated, and fines were imposed.
In an exclusive talk with this paper published yesterday, the joint commissioner had promised pedestrians that he would give them their right to unencumbered pavements.
mid-day has reported how the civic body hardly does anything to free the footpaths of encroachments, or pay-and-park contractors who illegally allow parking there. Numerous complaints from residents force them to act now and then, but the problem resurfaces.
But Dr B K Upadhyay yesterday showed the city — through a series of actions — that the space it seems to be losing to vehicles is on its way to be reclaimed for citizens.
Location 1: Hiranandani Complex, Powai
The entire complex’s footpath was taken over by hundreds of two-wheelers parked illegally. The traffic police, taking note of a photograph published in mid-day on February 26, towed many two-wheelers. Most bikes belonged to visitors and workers at Powai Plaza Park. People who were present at the time of towing were able to save their vehicles.
Location 2: Dr S S Rao Road, Parel
Uncluttered: The footpath on Dr SS Rao Road in Parel emerged from amid a bevy of vehicles, following the police action. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
A pavement here is full of old, unused vehicles. Residents complain that there is usually no place for them to walk. Following the mid-day report, the traffic department was seen taking action. And people whose cars were parked here for years came to the spot rushing, and many managed to save themselves from the parking fine, but the others had to pay it and hand over the licences.
Location 3: Kulpati K M Munshi Marg, Grant Road
This is one place where car owners did not only pay fines for parking on footpaths – once the traffic cops reached the location to initiate action – but they had also had to cough up fee for the illegal parking itself. There is a BMC-run pay-and-park that uses the space on the pavement here and charges locals who avail of the facility. This leaves even less parking space for the residents who do not make use of the facility.
Of the six cars and some bikes parked on the footpath, two were towed while owners of the others had to pay fine.
Fine and penalty for parking on pavements:
Rs 200, for those who coughed it up on the spot, before their vehicles were impounded; they also had to hand over their licences
Rs 300, for those whose vehicles were towed away and they had to go to the traffic police chowky to get them back
Top cop says
Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Upadhyay told mid-day, “We will continue taking action against illegal parking and will
try and take this issue on priority basis, as I am very much of the opinion that pedestrians should get their right to walk, without running into hurdles. I have also asked my staff to look for places where breaches occur, and take necessary action. But as far as parking in the city goes, we do will coordinate with the BMC over pay-and-park zones.”