Mumbai: Parking ban flops, cops put it on hold
After growing protests by various vehicle operators, Mumbai city's traffic police put on hold their parking ban; to go back to drawing board with all stakeholders
Byculla: Parked buses and trucks (above) create a bottleneck for the oncoming evening traffic at Dr Ambedkar Road, Byculla, on Friday. Pics/Sameer Markande
Just two days after announcing a restriction on heavy vehicles parking on the street, the traffic department has hit the brakes on the ban after mounting resistance from bus and truck associations. The department has ’parked’ the policy in the cold storage for 10 days, in which time they will discuss its implementation with various unions.
Parel: Heavy vehicles parked on Dr SS Rao Road in Parel are eating into the limited road space below the Monorail
mid-day had earlier reported that from September 13 onwards, the Mumbai Traffic Department banned all heavy vehicles – including trucks, water tankers, garbage dumpers and buses – from parking on the roadside. The department also restricted the entry of these vehicles in south Mumbai in the first half of the day. This was done in an attempt to decongest the city roads.
Reay Road: Parked vehicles once again line the street near the Reay Road railway station after the ban was lifted yesterday
However, in just two days, the policy hit a roadblock as several associations of truck, tanker and bus drivers threatened to go on strike to protest the '200 fine imposed on those who flouted the rule. "Hundreds of bus drivers were fined. Some school buses were told to go away even as they were waiting for children outside the school. It was draconian policy," said Anil Garg, president of the School Bus Owners Association. "We conveyed our difficulty to the Commissioner of Police Dattatray Padasalgikar," added Garg.
Matunga: The road along Matunga railway station is once again chock-a-block with parked buses and trucks
After several complaints, CP Padsalgikar called Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Traffic, to discuss the implementation of the policy. The joint commissioner was told that such implementation would lead to a law-and-order crisis, since bus owners had already threatened to go on strike. "We discussed the implementation of the policy and felt that more interaction with the stakeholders is needed. Therefore, we have decided to put the parking policy on hold for 10 days," said Jt Commissioner Kumar.
He added, "The police will now sit down with bus operators and tanker owners to discuss how this policy can be implemented in a constructive and effective way. We have also asked our men not to take stringent action against vehicles carrying essential goods."
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