On Day 1, 80 vehicles slapped with stiff fine in Mumbai | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: On the first day of its crackdown on vehicles parked illegally within a 500m radius of public parking lots, civic officials towed away 80 vehicles ( 63 cars, 14 bikes and 3 autos ) and collected Rs 1.8 lakh in fines. Most of the offenders are yet to pay the penalty, said officials. The fine is Rs 10,000 for four-wheelers, Rs 8,000 for autos and Rs 5,000 for two-wheelers.
The highest collection on Sunday was from a Kalina resident who runs a tourist car agency-he paid Rs 40,000 to get four of his seized vehicles released. While BMC staffers managed to tow four of the 10 cars parked illegally outside his residence, he instructed his staffers to drive away the remaining six vehicles.
In another instance, a biker could not pay the fine either by card or digital wallet because the civic officials didn’t have the facility.
A civic official said: “Since it was Sunday, we didn’t face any resistance. We will get a real idea of motorists’ reaction from Monday-the first working day since the project was launched.” The officials, armed with cameras, recorded every vehicle as it was being towed to avoid harassment complaints.
The BMC has identified only 26 public parking lots in the city, including those at Goregaon, Parel and Dadar, though builders have constructed 88 public parking lots free of cost to give to the municipality in lieu of concessions for their projects. Till date, only one-third of the parking lots have been handed over to the civic body. Corporators have been demanding, unsuccessfully, that the municipal commissioner take over the remaining parking lots before imposing the no-parking rule.
On Sunday, TOI visited three public parking lots-Goregaon (E), N M Joshi Marg and Santacruz (E)-and found them to be nearly vacant. The on-duty attendants said the parking lost are usually empty as people motorists are reluctant to pay for parking. They added that only nearby building and chawl residents park their vehicles there and pay a monthly rent that is much lower than the BMC rate.
TOI also noticed that the BMC signboard detailing the no-parking rules along with penalty amount was missing at two of the three sites. Civic officials said as the rule was implemented at such a short notice at some places, the ward officials are struggling to figure out the logistics.
A retired BMC official, who requested that he not be named, said he was returning home when his vehicle broke down and he was forced to park it on CST Road near Mumbai University’s Kalina campus, just 10m away from the public parking lot at Cygnus Tower. “By the time I returned to the spot with a mechanic, my car was towed away. The civic staffers refused to listen to me and insisted that I pay the fine. It’s injustice and harassment.” But a BMC official, who was at the spot, said as the car was in a no-parking zone, they towed it.
Lauding the BMC move, activist-filmmaker Ashoke Pandit said, “It’s good move to deal with the illegal parking menace, mainly trucks and buses that block roads. If parking facility is available close by, motorists should pay the charges and park there.”

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