Mumbai: Several residents of Ridge Road, Malabar Hill, took to the streets on Friday to protest against strict implementation of ‘no parking’ rules in the tony neighbourhood. For the past several weeks, the residents have been campaigning against the action of the traffic police, but in vain.
On Friday afternoon, they held a demonstration led by local activist Prakash Mundhi. South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena (UBT) joined the protest and extended his support.
South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena (UBT) joined the protest and extended his support. | Vijay Gohil
Residents say they have been Parking vehicles on road for several decades
The residents said they have been parking their cars on the road for the past several decades, but only now the traffic police is cracking the whip. Sawant told the FPJ, “Most of the residents live in old buildings where the ground floors, too, have apartments. As there is no space in their building compounds, they have been parking their vehicles on the road.”
Sawant said that when his party president Uddhav Thackeray was the chief minister, instructions were given to the traffic police not to harass the residents. “However, the situation has changed with the new government coming in,” he said. The tyres of residents’ vehicles are jammed and ‘no-parking challans’ are routinely issued by the cops.
The traffic police, however, maintained that the road is a narrow one and parking of vehicles adversely impacts the smooth floor of vehicles and that too in a VVIP area. The chief minister and other ministers have their official bungalows in the neighbourhood. Also, the state government’s Sahyadri Guest House is the venue of several official meetings daily. Hence, it’s necessary to ensure there are no traffic jams, they said.
A police official said the talk of the residents parking their vehicles for several decades holds no water because over the years the number of vehicles has vastly increased. Also, most residents own two or more automobiles. “They can afford to have mechanical stack parking in their building compounds,” the official observed.
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