South Mumbai residents to approach court over BMC's new exorbitant parking penalties

The BMC's new parking charges have sparked a war in Mumbai. In order to lodge new protest residents of Walkeshwar and Napean Sea road are mulling over taking their protest against the BMC from the streets to the court.

According to Mid-Day, after the car owners were slapped with a Rs 10,000 fine to release their vehicles, the residents, along with elected representatives and advocates, met the assistant commissioner of D ward, V Mote on Monday. The residents pointed out that the public parking lot (PPL) in their area can hardly accommodate 58 vehicles when housing societies like Chandralok and others alone need a parking capacity of over 100 vehicles. In such a case, where should they park, they asked. During the discussions, local BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha had asked BMC to give these residents a breather of at least three days, which was agreed upon.

"We have started discussions with our advocates about what we can do in this case, as paying Rs 10,000 cannot be an option. We need some respite and thus, knocking the doors of the court will be our only option," Mukesh Jethwa, a resident and committee member of Chandralok society told the leading daily. In the meanwhile, V Mote told the Mid-Day, "There was a meeting with the residents and the elected representatives but we cannot respond to their demands. I asked them to approach the higher authorities. We are continuing with our action."

On the other hand, on Tuesday, Worli residents also protested against the huge parking penalties imposed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), terming the move as "illegal and arbitrary". NCP leader Sachin Ahir raised slogans against the BMC, condemning the action which they said was intended to benefit only the rich. "Builders, with the help of BMC officials, have usurped parking areas of new or redeveloped buildings, leaving no parking space for the middle classes and poor who live in tenements or small flats. Don't the less affluent have the right to use two-wheelers or small vehicles for personal or official use," Ahir asked.

As per the new parking rules implemented by the BMC and the Mumbai Traffic Police from Sunday (July 7), vehicles parked in no-parking zones would attract exorbitant fines ranging from a minimum of Rs 5,000 to a maximum of Rs 15,000 depending on the category of vehicles. This has been made applicable to all vehicles illegally parked within a 500 metre radius of the 26 authorised public parking lots and 20 designated BESTS depots in the city.

The penalty comprises the actual fine for illegal parking and the towing charges, which come to a whopping Rs 5,000-Rs 8,300 for two-wheelers and Rs 15,000-Rs 23,250 for heavy vehicles. The new penalties for medium vehicles are Rs 11,000-Rs 17,600, light motor vehicles Rs 10,000-Rs 15,100 and for all types of three-wheelers Rs 8,000-Rs 12,200 per violation, and the fines keep increasing progressively daily for late payment.

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