MONTHS AFTER BMC started imposing hefty fines on motorists for parking vehicles in no-parking zones, lack of action against violators has resulted in many areas again witnessing illegal parking.
In July, the civic body had introduced first-of-its-kind parking norms, under which a person could be fined up to Rs 23,250 for parking a vehicle in an area designated as a no-parking zone. The BMC circular had stated that unauthorised cars parked in the radius of 500 m from public parking lots (PPL) would be removed and the owners fined. While four-wheelers could be fined up to Rs 15,000, for heavy vehicles, the penalty could go up to Rs 23,250.
The Indian Express visited a few locations and found that after the initial success of the drive, illegal parking is back on most of the roads.
In Worli and Prabhadevi, where maximum number of the public parking lots — in all, there are 27 PPL with a capacity to accommodate over 34,000 vehicles — are located, vehicles can be found parked in all no-parking zones except one. These include Senapati Bapat Marg near Indiabulls Finance Centre, the whole stretch from Gopal Nagar to Deepak Cinema on P B Marg and on Hill Road in Bandra.
“When the drive began, all the stretches were clear and travel time had come down. But for the last one month, the situation has changed,” said Sudhir Jadhav, a Worli resident who uses P B Marg to reach his office at Indiabulls Finance Centre.
Sumit Gupta, who uses Senapati Bapat Marg daily, added: “On Senapati Bapat Marg, there is a small stretch near One Indiabulls, which should be free of illegal parking. However, now vehicles are found parked there... also, many a times, the driver or the car owner waits by parking the vehicle on the roadside.”
In Elphinstone, two-wheelers are found parked in the no-parking zone on the pavement. Similar is the situation in Bandra West’s Hill Road. The vehicles parked outside the PPL leads to congestion on Hill Road, which witnesses heavy footfall of shoppers in the evening.
According to BMC records, in two days after the circular was issued, the civic body had taken action against 136 vehicles and collected Rs 3.5 lakh as fine. When contacted, the civic officials showed reluctance in sharing fresh data on action against vehicles. A senior official from BMC’s traffic department said, “We have been facing a staff crunch since September as employees were put on election duty and then the festival season began. Now, all ward officials are getting pending works done... Action against parking norm violators will pick up soon.”