Mumbai: Corporators want parking lots named!

Updated: Aug 24, 2019, 09:20 IST | Prajakta Kasale

As city lawmakers float trivial proposal, activists tell them to focus on pressing needs of citizens

The city has been increasingly facing a dearth of parking spaces. Representation pic
The city has been increasingly facing a dearth of parking spaces. Representation pic

While the city continues to deal with parking woes, escalated parking fines, bad roads, closed bridges and so on, corporators seem to have nothing more than renaming on their minds. After plastering roads, gardens, hospitals and crematoriums with names of their favourite people, corporators have turned their attention to parking lot names.

Activists have slammed the move saying corporators should instead focus on providing good roads, education, and health. An RTI query had revealed that the corporators raised more questions about naming and renaming infrastructure and landmarks year after year than about basic issues faced citizens.

Also Read: Now, BMC wants you to park vehicles underground

The civic body has sanctioned 79 new parking lots for the city. Representation pic
The civic body has sanctioned 79 new parking lots for the city. Representation pic

Shiv Sena corporator Suvarna Karanje, at the BMC general body meeting this month, asked for a separate policy for naming new parking lots. The BMC had assigned contracts for 79 parking lots to builders by offering them FSI benefits. Of these, the builders have handed over 29 parking lots so far. The parking lots are currently identified by the builder's name. "Why should the developers get popularity as if they have done some charity work? They have enjoyed FSI benefits. Instead, we could give them names of some local leaders etc," said Karanje.

Also Read: Mumbai: No more free parking on five city stretches 

While Karanje had a point, her solution of coming up with new names didn't find many takers. An RTI filed by Praja Foundation revealed that the most issues raised in the ward committees are about naming roads. "There are so many basic issues like roads, health, education where corporators can do a better job. But it seems that most of the corporators are busy with naming and renaming roads, hospitals etc," said Praja Foundation director Milind Mhaske. He said people need better access to parking lots in their localities rather than their names.

Civic activist Kamlakar Shenoy echoed similar views. "Names are helpful in locating the parking spots. So it should be related to the area and not with any person. Why should any private person's name be given to public spaces? Instead, corporators should focus on facilities inside the parking lot like lighting, ventilation, roads, traffic issues etc," he said. He also pointed to a nexus between the corporators and the people who wish to get certain places named after themselves/their forefathers.

He added, instead of naming roads and parking spaces with some unknown people's names, FIRs should be filed against corporators and MLAs and municipal officers responsible for the sorry state of roads and unathourised constructions.

Praja report

From January to December 2018, 227 corporators asked 1,046 questions in the ward meetings about drainage issues, solid waste management, water supply, education, health etc. Barring questions over roads (208), naming and renaming of roads or BMC institutes saw the maximum number questions — 158.

158
No. of questions asked by corporators about renaming city road projects

227
Total no. of BMC corporators

Also Read: Mumbai: New BMC app will help you find public parking lots in the city

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