BMC wants to use free parking space in malls, societies & BEST depots to decongest roads
In a bid to tackle the dearth of parking space in Mumbai, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials met with mall authorities on Thursday and proposed that they make available vacant parking space in their facilities to non-visiting motorists on weekdays.
Over the last few months, the civic body has taken several measures to decongest city roads. As part of its efforts, it has imposed heavy fines on vehicle owners who park their cars or bikes on roads when a parking facility is available nearby.
Now, to address the parking problem in areas where there are fewer designated parking areas or the density of vehicles is higher, it has drafted a proposal to leverage free parking space in shopping malls and other similar commercial establishments.
Officials from the Mumbai Parking Authority (MPA), responsible for regulating parking in the city, met with mall owners yesterday to discuss the idea of utilising vacant parking slots in their premises during weekdays.
In principle, the idea makes sense as mall parking lots are relatively empty during weekdays and at nights. By allowing car owners, who are not necessarily visiting the mall, to park in their facility, malls can generate additional revenue and help decongest roads.
Also, since they already have security measures like guards, CCTVs, etc in place, vehicle owners will also benefit by parking their cars and bikes in a safe environment.
While there are a few hurdles that need to be resolved before the idea can be implemented, the proposal has received a positive response from mall owners, said Shishir Joshi, member of MPA.
In addition to malls, the MPA has also approached housing societies and BEST depots to use space in their premises.
In the case of housing societies, several parking slots are empty during the day when the residents either go to work or for daily chores. Similarly, there is ample space available in the BEST depots during the day when most buses are plying on roads.
Additionally, the MPA is planning to launch an app that gives realtime information to motorists about the availability of parking space, including the ones in civic parking lots, malls, societies and others.