Mumbai: Mayor on a lunch outing parks his car under a No-Parking board
As the city is seized with the burning issue of exorbitant parking fines, First Citizen of Mumbai coolly parks his car right under a No-Parking board and walks off for a leisurely lunch
The hullaballoo over the civic body's new parking fines seems to have completely missed its first citizen's attention. While the BMC began its crackdown against roadside parking by levying hefty fines on violators, Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar's vehicle was seen parked right under the BMC's no-parking signboard in Vile Parle.
Mahadeshwar visited Koldongari in Vile Parle, East on Saturday when his official vehicle was parked outside a popular coastal fish food joint between Andheri and Vile Parle, where the roads are narrow and often congested. The clear no parking instructions didn't seem to deter the mayor, let alone the new rules regarding no parking in a 500-metre radius of a public parking lot.
The BMC had also barricaded some roads in Lower Parel to prevent motorists from roadside parking. File pic
The blatant violation of parking norms by the Mayor comes within a week of the BMC administration beginning its drive against roadside parking. The civic body has been imposing fines on vehicles parked within a 500-meter radius of 29 authorised public parking lots (PPLs).
A BMC official claimed that there is no parking lot in the area that the mayor had visited while agreeing that the vehicle shouldn't have been parked in the 'no parking' zone marked by the BMC.
Mahadeshwar admitted to having visited a coastal seafood joint for lunch on Saturday. "I alighted the car and walked into the restaurant. I was not aware of where the driver had parked the vehicle. But I do agree that everyone is equal before the law. Every citizen should follow rules and the mayor is no exception to it. To avoid reoccurrence of such an incident, I will instruct my staff drivers to follow all traffic rules," the mayor added.
The penalty BMC for parking in the 500-m radius of PPLs for heavy motor vehicles is R15,000 to R23,250 and for medium motor vehicles is R11,000 to R17,600 and for cars is R10,000 to R15,100. The vehicle owner must pay the fine amount at the citizens' facilitation centres operational between 8 am and 8 pm. The fine amount increases if you fail to claim your vehicles before 8 pm.
The fines differ based on whether the BMC's has towed the vehicle away or it is merely clamped at the spot.The move was introduced to curb the menace of roadside parking obstructing the smooth movement of traffic.
Meanwhile, the mayor's act has not gone down too well with transport activists. "This is proof of the state of affairs in our country. Ideally, the first citizen of Mumbai should be leading by example. This is exactly what is wrong with VIP's scripting laws. They do it as per their convenience and expect the general public to follow them," Jitendra Gupta of Mumbai Transport Forum said.
Not a first for mayor
This is, however, not the first time that the mayor is in news for the wrong reasons. Following the recent downpour and flooding in the city, Mahadeshwar had dismissed reports about water logging and traffic snarls. His comments had angered citizens who had faced much inconvenience owing to the incessant rains and the poor condition of city roads.
Total number of public parking lots in city
Fines for roadside parking
Heavy motor vehicles: R15,000 to R23,250
Medium motor vehicles: R11,000 to R17,600
Cars: R10,000 to R15,100
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