Mumbai: 14 malls asked to open up parking lots for motorists

Iram Siddique
According to data provided by Regional Transport Offices, there are at least 24 lakh two-wheelers and 12 lakh four-wheelers registered in the city.(Representational Image)

Motorists may soon be able to park their vehicles at 14 malls, which will open up their parking lots for private vehicles at subsidised rates. These parking lots will likely be open for private parking during daytime on weekdays and at night every day.

The decision to approach the malls was taken on Saturday during a meeting of the Mumbai Parking Authority (MPA), whose mandate is to decongest the city’s streets.

Opening malls for private parking is one of the measures to create a city parking pool, sources said. According to data provided by Regional Transport Offices, there are at least 24 lakh two-wheelers and 12 lakh four-wheelers registered in the city. Based on this data, there is a need to create parking space for at least three lakh vehicles.

The 14 malls that have been identified by the MPA include Star Mall (Dadar), Nakshatra Mall (Dadar), CR 2 Mall (Nariman Point), City Centre Mall (Nagpada), Atria Mall (Worli), Palladium Mall (Parel), K Star Mall (Chembur), R City Mall (Ghatkopar), Infinity Mall (Andheri West), D Mart Shopping (Mulund), Oberoi Mall (Goregaon), Marks and Spencer (Bandra) and Hub Mall (Goregaon).

Two of these malls have agreed to reduce their parking charges while talks with others are still underway.

Gautam Chatterjee, chairman of MPA, said, “The idea is to create adequate parking space and educate residents to utilise it and move motorists from on road to off road. But people will have to pay for the space. It will require both education and enforcement. Once people move from roads to the parking lots, then that street or vicinity can be called parking-free. But it’s a long process where the first step is to provide adequate infrastructure.”

A notification issued by the Mumbai traffic police has made parking within a vicinity of 100 metres of malls a punishable offence. Motorists will be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicles Act for no-parking based on the occupancy of these parking lots.

“Our collective effort through the MPA has been to decongest Mumbai’s roads and bring in collective support. The impact will be felt gradually,” said Shishir Joshi, founder, Project Mumbai and an advisory member of MPA.

Apart from malls, the MPA is also identifying residential complexes, warehouses and garages that can be used for parking as a pilot project for the city parking pool. These spaces are being identified to complement the Public Parking Lots (PPLs), Amenity plots, Reserved Plots and BEST depots. The exact space available across these malls that can be utilised for parking will be mapped by MPA officials.

An MPA official said, “The parking space available will be collected and then put up in an app, which will give motorists an idea of a parking spot available around him/her. The app will be a common app of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.”