At the forefront in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has entrusted the responsibility of penalising the vehicles parked near the civic body’s Public Parking Lots (PPLs) and levying the fine to the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP). The move comes in the wake of an acute staff crunch to execute the task.
The BMC which had initiated a penalty for parking vehicles near the 26 of the civic body’s Public Parking Lots (PPLs) in July 2019, found it difficult to implement the same and found it wise to hand over the task to the MTP.
The MTP will not only levy fines but also tow away vehicles found parked illegally near the BMC PPLs. MTP will tow away the vehicles that have been declared as scrap and are found parked by the roadside.
Initially, the fine amount was fixed at Rs 10,000, later it was brought down to Rs 4,000 and will remain unchanged, the civic officials said. The BMC had introduced the fine on July 7 in Mumbai’s four major arterial roads such as Link Road, SV Road, LBS Road, and Maharshi Karve Road.
Later, the rule was relaxed and parking vehicles within the radius of a km of the civic body’s PPLs was reduced to 500 metres. The BMC continued with the fine until March 2020 that is for nine months, till the pandemic hit the city.
The officials have claimed that the prevailing coronavirus pandemic situation led to an acute staff crunch as a majority of them were requisited for covid19 duties. “We have been handed additional duties of covid-19 related work for the past seven to eight months because of the Pandemic. Hence it was decided to hand over the responsibility of slapping fines on errant vehicles to Mumbai Traffic Police. The talks started in September and finally the task was handed over to the MTP,” said a BMC official.
Not only this but the civic body has even given away 24 of its towing vans to the MTP for the same.
Pravinkumar Padwal, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said that since the towing vans were not being fully utilised at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) during the pandemic, which is why they had loaned those vans to the Mumbai Traffic Police. "Even if the traffic police will levy fines for illegal parking near the PPLs, the fines will be levied and collected according to the Motor Vehicles Act and not the BMC rules. We have been using the towing vans efficiently for towing-and-clamping action and it is acting as a deterrent for violators," added Padwal.
Meanwhile, starting November 2020, the 26 civic-run PPLs have been made operational full-time. These 26 PPLs have a capacity for parking 26000 vehicles.