MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Thursday pulled up the Maharashtra government and also the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) over their failure to come up with a proper policy for controlling illegal parking of vehicles on public roads. The bench even questioned the state of the status of its policy to allow the purchase of a new vehicle only after furnishing a "parking proof" to show the customer has a parking space to park his vehicle.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by activist Sandeep Thakur highlighting the issue of illegal parking on public roads. It alleges that the developers do not provide sufficient parking spaces within new highrise apartments and thus the citizens park their vehicles outside anywhere around their societies.
When this matter came up for hearing before the bench on Thursday, the bench noted that the authorities haven't filed their say in the matter. The judges noted that the NMMC submission had little to do with this issue.
Pulling up the authorities for not taking progressive steps as such, the judges said it is their duty to ensure parking is controlled.
"Let the new and planned cities not become like Mumbai where there are cars, cars, cars and cars..." Justice Kulkarni remarked, adding, "Neither the corporation nor the state is looking at the parking policy... All lanes are full of vehicles... There is no place for the common man to walk on the roads..."
"Almost 40 per cent of the roads is taken by parking on both sides," the judge said.
While pointing out that crores of rupees were spent to concretize the road between Mantralaya and Cooperage Road in Colaba, the bench said, "We pass from that road daily... Complete concretization of the road is done... Crores of rupees have been spent... But for what? For parking cars?"
"There are cars parked on that road completely. Why waste taxpayers money like this," Justice Kulkarni remarked.
The bench further said that the authorities need to apply their minds and come up with some policy as roads cannot be full of parked vehicles because the societies don't have it.
"Reduction in the purchase of new cars is needed... You can't permit one family to have four to five vehicles just because they can afford it. You should cross-check if they have parking spaces or not," Justice Kulkarni observed, adding, "You can allow cars but not in absence of parking spaces... we expected Navi Mumbai to be a bit sensitive but sorry to say..."
The judges further sought to know if the state has any policy to disallow parking on public roads.
"There was a mention earlier (in 2018) that the state would make mandatory for everyone to show parking space before registration... What happened to that policy? Let us know on next date what is the status?" the bench said.
"If such parking isn't controlled now then very less path would be left for the coming generations. Keep this in mind and come up with a proper policy," the judges ordered the authorities.
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