Family in auto turned back: Kurla mall changes parking policy overnight

Nov 02, 2016, 08:30 IST | Faisal Tandel

Day after mid-day reported that Phoenix Market City mall in Kurla did not allow an auto driver to park his vehicle in the mall to go shop inside, mall authorities have said it is not their policy

Vikas Tiwari was not allowed to park his auto when he arrived with his family at the mall. Pic/Satej Shinde
Vikas Tiwari was not allowed to park his auto when he arrived with his family at the mall. Pic/Satej Shinde

In a stunning about face, a day after mid-day reported that the Phoenix Market City mall in Kurla had discriminated against an autorickshaw driver from parking his auto in the mall to go shop inside, the mall authorities have said that it is not their policy and that autos are allowed in the parking. The walk back on the policy came after the story gained traction on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

Rajendra Kalkar, president, Phoenix Market City, said, "We are committed to providing our patrons with the best-in-class facilities. Parking for all personal vehicles, including autos, is permitted at the mall through specified entries and this is communicated to all patrons during entry. We are reviewing this specific matter and will take the necessary steps to resolve the issue amicably."

'Easy to issue statements'
Vikas Tiwari, a 28-year-old software engineer, who had come to patronise the mall in his family auto, was not allowed inside and told that they could not park in the mall premises. His wife and brother Santosh, the owner of the auto-rickshaw, accompanied him.

Read Story: Mumbai: Mall in trouble after turning back family that arrived in auto

"What's the use now? What about the security guard who pushed me out? Doesn't that seem to be insulting? Why they didn't respond to my call and video on Facebook and why do they always need to be contacted via media? It's very easy to give statements that parking for all personal vehicles including autos is permissible, but when someone actually faces discrimination, only they know the pain. I am especially appalled at the gall of the supervisor who insisted that I couldn't leave the mall without deleting the uploaded videos, going so far as to calling the police as though I am a terrorist or a criminal."

Tiwari claims that even an autorickshaw driver in Mumbai earns R30,000 per month and can afford shopping in a mall. "Instead of giving their side, the authorities should take proper action against those at fault. My aim was not to defame the mall, it was only to make them aware about what's going on in the mall."

Legally speaking
"A mall frequented by the public is a public place for all practical and legal purposes. The laws that govern the public are common laws such as Motor Vehicles Act, Bombay Police Act and so forth. A mall's security personnel preventing anyone from entry or photographing in a public space borders on an excess. Also, one needs to ascertain whether the security agency personnel are registered under The Maharashtra Private Security Guards Act or not. This high-handed behaviour infringing on personal freedoms has to stop," said DraftCraft founder and solicitor Gajanan Khergamker.

Police standpoint
Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner of police and public relations officer, Mumbai police said, "According to the Motor Vehicle Act or Mumbai Police Act, there is no such rule or clause. We are not aware about the personal shopping mall management's clause."

Rs 30k
Salary an autodriver makes, says Tiwari

Tweet talk
@Bhagi_Rp @mid_day How could they do that??? Discrimination???

@suffercure I mean the auto should be allowed if it wasnt used for commercial use. I mean why shouldnt it be allowed to be parked if its the owner of the auto itself who is paying the fees.

@Iron_Maiden_666 I swear if they showed up in a yellow board car they wouldn't be turned away. Refusing service for arriving in an auto is discriminatory. Therefore, the law takes precedence over business policy.

@Monsultant I'm traveling in a rented car with a yellow number plate, will they refuse to let the car enter the parking zone?

Grossly unfair

Preeti Sharma Menon @PreetiSMenon This is shameful! Maybe malls should put up boards akin to "Dogs & Indians not allowed"

Amit Shelar @TheAmitShelar shame on you #PhoenixMarketcity

Manish Koparkar @ManishKoparkar wht a shame. Even #Ghatkopar #Rcity don't allow Rickshaw

Manjit K Singh on FACEBOOK Well out of order. I live abroad and when I come to India I love using Autos in fact it is my favourite mode of transport. I cannot believe it that Mall has a problem with Autos. How shallow is that?

'Just not fair'
Rickshaw and taxi drivers should be allowed to park their vehicles in and around a shopping mall's parking area. Why shouldn't they be allowed to shop from malls, if they can afford things they intend to buy? They are citizens of this country, just like us and should be treated with dignity for being true to their jobs.
Katy Marfatia

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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