Mumbai: Special body, not traffic police, will now control parking policy

Updated: Mar 09, 2019, 15:09 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Conceived by top IAS officer, state-created authority to take over powers of fining, identifying parking spots

With the ever-increasing parking and traffic menace in the city, the state government-notified Parking Authority wants to ease the burden of the traffic police by taking over their responsibility of acting against those who illegally park vehicles. They are also looking at involving some traffic cops to work with them full-time to carry out the job.

Various public representatives, traffic police, BMC's traffic department and NGOs have come together for the parking authority under the chairmanship of Ramanath Jha, former IAS officer. They now aim to decongest the city by having organised and well-managed parking.

BMC and urban planners are working on the parking data and creating an on-street parking map of the city. A traffic police officer would be helping them collate the data and identify which roads should be included for parking.

The new parking spaces in the city would be constructed by developers for private buildings, and whether commercial or residential, they would have to be aligned with the parking authority. Representational Image
The new parking spaces in the city would be constructed by developers for private buildings, and whether commercial or residential, they would have to be aligned with the parking authority. Representational Image

New parking rates?
In addition to this, the authority is also mulling on getting separate police personnel for their force. If all goes to plan, challans will be issued and fines will also be collected by the parking authority. It might also introduce new rates for parking.

Speaking to mid-day, Jha said, "These things are still in the initial stages of planning. However, the authority will be taking the final decision on everything related to parking in the city."

Moreover, the new parking spaces in the city would be constructed by developers for private buildings, and whether commercial or residential, they would have to be aligned with the parking authority, revealed sources.

mid-day was the first to report in October 2018 about BMC exploring the option of turning private parking spaces in housing societies into public ones. Later, in December 2018, mid-day had also reported about the start of the parking survey.

Private spaces turn public
In February, it had also reported on the preliminary findings of the BMC's survey carried out in all 24 wards. The findings laid the pattern for the detailed report revealed interesting lacunae with numerous issues, which will now have to be looked at on a micro level.

A civic official said, "We are exploring the option of utilising private parking space for a few hours in a private society. All of this will be at the discretion of the society."

"However, the feasibility of this has to be scrutinised by the planners. Once the survey is completed, experts will compile these parking lots to create a Geographic Information System (GIS) map and the space will be digitally governed from there," the official added.

Survey reveals K-East and M-West ward habits
A team of 15 urban planners are conducting the detailed survey of all parking lots in the city in coordination with the BMC. Civic officials working on the survey said they have observed that while the industrially-heavy K-East ward (Andheri East) sees hundreds of buses, they utilise 60 per cent of the on-street parking. In the G-South ward (Lower Parel, Mahalaxmi and Worli) despite the availability of off-street parking, citizens still prefer to park on the roads. In the M-West ward (Chembur) too, a lot of residential parking happens on narrow roads. The authority will now work on solutions to these issues.

Indisciplined wards

  • E West (Chembur) sees residential parking on narrow lanes
  • G South (Lower Parel, Mahalaxmi, Worli) sees people park along streets despite sufficient off-street parking

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