If cars shooting past you on the city’s streets are a nuisance, then the ones gathering dust on the wayside are no less of an irritant. Numerous vehicles that have been abandoned on the roads by owners are a major reason for traffic jams in Mumbai. Finally, BMC that was running short of space to dump them has identified another plot to do so in Wadala.
An official from the removal of encroachments department of the civic body said, “These vehicles cause myriad problems, most importantly encroaching upon precious space on the already cramped roads. Last year, a lot of such cars were removed to minimise the possibility of a terror attack in the city. But there wasn’t much space at the Lower Parel dumping yard, which made things difficult.” Abandoned vehicles from the city area are unloaded at this plot, where they are kept till owners claim them after paying hefty fines. BMC generates a considerable amount of revenue in these drives, as the owners have to pay a penalty of about Rs 7,500 for four-wheelers, the amount increasing by Rs 150 for each day they remain unclaimed.
Blots on landscape
In the absence of any claimants, authorities auction off the vehicles. “Another major reason to get rid of the cars is cleanliness. The rusting vehicles are an eyesore, and are best moved to dumping yards. They are just a nuisance on the roads. Such cars are found the most in areas like south Mumbai,” said another senior BMC official. He also mentioned that when the plot at Lower Parel would get full, the civic body was forced to take these cars to dumping plots in western and eastern suburbs, costing time and fuel. “The Wadala plot is close to the city area and near a highway, so we can travel faster too,” he said.
Deputy municipal commissioner (removal of encroachments) Vijay Balamwar said, “We have identified the spot now and would pursue the work on building the compound wall and security gates. Also, we would appoint more security guards as there are slums in the proximity and people might be tempted to swipe some parts of the vehicles.” When MiD DAY visited the area near the Eastern Express Highway, located between Priyadarshini and Rahul Nagar slums, kids from the ghettoes were playing cricket on the vacant plot, while the compound wall was in a derelict condition.