Mumbai to get India's first parking authority; body to include BMC officials, traffic police and civil society representatives

The residents of space-starved Mumbai may have a reason to rejoice soon. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to soon appoint urban development experts to create a Geographic Information System (GIS) map and a comprehensive database of all parking slots in the city. This will be a step forward towards creating the country's first special parking authority.

The move comes over six months after the development plan 2034 — the blueprint for the megapolis' development — was unveiled. The development plan had envisaged the setting up of an independent parking authority.

A proposal for setting up a team of experts for this purpose was sent to officer on special duty (OSD), Ramanath Jha recently, The Indian Express reported. The process is slated to take about a year.

Mumbai to get Indias first parking authority; body to include BMC officials, traffic police and civil society representatives

Representational image. Reuters

After the development plan was unveiled, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had spoken of the possibility of setting up such an authority in a written answer to the Legislative Assembly. The BMC had also subsequently told the Bombay High Court that a special authority to regulate parking would be set up. This was as per the decision of a committee to address issues of traffic congestion in the city.

According to a report in Mid Day, the authority will have members from the traffic police, NGOs, Regional Transport Office representatives, BMC officials, experts and public representatives.

Parking problems

In a city that has 33 lakh vehicles but only 60,000 parking spaces, parking has always been a cause for concern. A report by Hindustan Times quoted experts as saying that the increase in the number of vehicles on Mumbai’s roads — from 20.28 lakh to 33.52 lakh in six years — is also contributing to the city's traffic woes.

Authorities have taken several measures in an attempt to alleviate the situation — such as making the Elphinstone and Lower Parel bridges one-way. However, these measures have worked only to a limited extent.

In the past, numerous civil society organisations in Mumbai have sought to shed light on parking woes. For instance, the BMC's allocation of Rs 1 crore in the budget estimates 2018-19 has been criticised as 'insignificant' by Praja Foundation, which pointed out that the city has a shortage of space. Another NGO, Watchdog Foundation, has alleged the existence of an illegal pay-and-park racket underneath many of the city's flyovers.

However, pay-and-park schemes conceived by the authorities have also run into stumbling blocks. As per a report in The Times of India, spots identified for paid parking in well-populated areas like Fort and Churchgate have received no bids from contractors after the BMC invited tenders last month.

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Updated Date: Nov 08, 2018 19:31:07 IST

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