Mumbai, July 9 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday lodged a vociferous protest against the huge parking penalties imposed by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), terming the move as “illegal and arbitrary”.
NCP activists led by city President Sachin Ahir raised slogans against the BMC, condemning the action which they said was intended to benefit only the rich.
“Builders, with the help of BMC officials, have usurped parking areas of new or redeveloped buildings, leaving no parking space for the middle classes and poor who live in tenements or small flats. Don’t the less affluent have the right to use two-wheelers or small vehicles for personal or official use,” Ahir asked.
He alleged that buildings are being constructed on parking areas reserved by the BMC, and where official parking lots are available, they are high up on the 4th-5th floors, and are heavily charged and time-consuming.
“I have submitted a memorandum to BMC Commissionier Pravin Pardeshi, asking him to permit free parking on all BMC parking lots, and after people get habituated to it, a reasonable parking charge can be levied,” Ahir told mediapersons.
He pointed out that Mumbaikars are already paying heavy taxes, and this decision to impose hefty parking penalties cannot be allowed.
As per the new parking rules implemented by the BMC and the Mumbai Traffic Police from Sunday (July 7), vehicles parked in no-parking zones would attract exorbitant fines ranging from a minimum of Rs 5,000 to a maximum of Rs 15,000 depending on the category of vehicles.
This has been made applicable to all vehicles illegally parked within a 500 metre radius of the 26 authorised public parking lots and 20 designated BESTS depots in the city.
The penalty comprises the actual fine for illegal parking and the towing charges, which come to a whopping Rs 5,000-Rs 8,300 for two-wheelers and Rs 15,000-Rs 23,250 for heavy vehicles.
The new penalties for medium vehicles are Rs 11,000-Rs 17,600, light motor vehicles Rs 10,000-Rs 15,100 and for all types of three-wheelers Rs 8,000-Rs 12,200 per violation, and the fines keep increasing progressively daily for late payment.
Mumbai has an estimated vehicle population of around 3 million comprising all categories.
In the past couple of days, the BMC has netted over half a million rupees under the new parking penalty regime.