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.
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.
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