Mumbai: 'Losses incurred by all not just by parking lot contractors,' say vehicle owners
After BMC offers 100% concession in licence fee to public parking lot contractors, people whose vehicles were parked at SoBo PPLs say they suffered, too, so why no relief for them
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown left several people and businesses struggling financially. Among them are public parking lots (PPL) contractors and hundreds of vehicle owners. However, the civic body came to the rescue of the former, and not the latter.
The BMC gave the PPL contractors relief to the extent of 100 per cent in licence fee for the lockdown period, and 50 per cent for the following months. However, vehicle owners demanded to know why they were not considered while handing out concessions when their business incurred loss, too.
In a recent order, the BMC's roads department instructed all ward officers to start the PPLs immediately. The order mentioned PPL contractors should be given 100 per cent concession in monthly licence fee from March 23 to July 30, and 50 per cent for August, September and October.
"We have taken the decision based on the requests from PPL contractors and suggestions from ward officers as they supervise PPLs. Some of the PPLs were completely shut during the lockdown, so we issued the order for granting interim relief. But the final decision will be taken once we receive the review of actual occupancy and loss incurred by the PPLs," said Vivek Kalyankar, deputy chief engineer of traffic in the roads department.
Several people in South Mumbai, who had parked their trucks and other vehicles at PPLs during the lockdown, have paid hefty amounts as parking fees, and demand the same relief.
"My dumper truck was parked in a PPL from March 21 to August 24. I used to park my truck for a day or two. But there wasn't any business then, so I didn't have any choice but to park my vehicle in the PPL. They charged me at R200 a day and I paid R31,980 for six months," said Amit Upadhyay. "I requested for relief several times, but was refused."
Another vehicle owner, Devnarayan Pal, said he paid Rs 33,005 for parking. "The PPL contractor told me they incurred losses and could not give any concession. We requested the BMC official, but despite assurances there isn't any word on passing on the benefits to vehicle owners."
"We haven't mentioned in writing but we suggested PPL contractors give concessions to vehicle owners by charging on a monthly basis instead of hourly. If we receive complaints about it, we will consider it in the final decision," said another senior official from the BMC.
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