The BMC has shut down the city’s first digital valet parking in Dadar (West) owing to heavy rainfall this month. The decision has left residents and traders in the area in a lurch, with the Dadar Vyapari Sangh (DVS) expressing displeasure, saying that it will create traffic problems in the area. The traders’ body said it is in talks with the BMC and the Traffic police to reopen it soon.
The civic body runs 29 public parking lots (PPL) across the city. However, most people prefer to park along the streets, which often leads to traffic congestion. To curb the menace, a digitised valet parking facility was started at Kohinoor PPL in Dadar, a hub for shopping. It was started with collaboration between the BMC, the Mumbai police and the DVS on May 18. On the first day itself, over 50 vehicles had used it, which according to the BMC was an overwhelming response.
Secretary of DVS, Sunil Shah said, “There was a good response but ‘no parking’ and ‘valet parking’ boards were not available. Meanwhile, action against illegally parked vehicles was stopped, which affected the facility. We are trying to get it revived.”
A civic official from the G-North ward said that incessant heavy rainfall in the last fortnight forced them to close the facility. He said the number of visitors had reduced and business was also low during this period.
“But we have plans to start the facility again from August 15,” he said. Assistant municipal commissioner Prashant Sapkale, however, wasn’t aware of the closure as took charge two weeks ago.
A resident, Milind Panchal said that it gets difficult to find parking in congested areas like Dadar, so this valet parking was very convenient.
He said the BMC could have put it on GPS and started an App, or advertised it on Google for higher use. As part of the facility that cost Rs 100 for the first four hours and Rs 25 for every additional hour with a fourhour limit, motorists could leave their vehicles at a parking booth near Plaza Cinema with their phone numbers, for the valets to steer them to the Kohinoor PPL. To get back their vehicles at the same spot, they clicked on a link sent over SMS. The
BMC also had plans to extend the service to four more locations in Dadar and Shivaji Park.