Mumbai: Bus owners to move HC against parking fine
They feel the civic body has been unfairly targeting them since they started the Rs 10,000 fine for illegal parking
With more than 250 private bus owners slapped with steep parking fines over the past couple of months, they now plan to move court in the matter. The owners are of the opinion that the civic body has been unfairly targeting them since they introduced the Rs 10,000 parking fine earlier this year.
Malik Patel, secretary of Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatna said that about 6,000 private buses ferry office-goers, students and out-station tourists. He added that the bus owners pay multiple charges to the traffic police, Regional Transport Office and now to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). "How are we supposed to run a business when we have to pay so many charges? We have no intention of being an obstruction to traffic. But what kind of provisions have the BMC made for us?" he asked.
Patel said the buses were allowed to be parked in the BEST depots only during the day. "Where will the buses be parked at night? On top of that, the cleaners are not allowed to stay in the buses when parked in the BEST depots. Many of these buses are not from the city. So if the cleaners are not allowed to stay inside, where will they go?" he added.
Mohanlal Godiya, who owns a fleet of 15 buses, said that if the steep fine continued, they would go out of business. "One of my drivers was having chai near the Airport Metro station in Andheri when BMC officials put a clamp on one of the tyres. He was standing near the bus, they could have simply asked him to move the vehicle. We are being unfairly targeted," he said.
Patel said that the Rs 10,000 fine was not as per law. "The traffic police charges Rs250 for the same offence. The ward officials have been directed to fine a certain number of buses every day. They put clamps on tyres even if the buses have broken down or have punctured tyres," he added.
Many bus owners have had to shell out fines for waiting near their pick up points and even when drivers stop to relieve themselves. Patel feels the biggest issue is the lack of a redressal system.
"If a school is near a signal, where are we supposed to wait? If the bus has broken down, they cannot fine us. Who do we then complain to?" he asked. He added that they were in talks with the Mumbai Parking Authority and if the matter doesn't get resolved by Wednesday, they would file a writ petition against the BMC in the Bombay High Court.
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