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Find a solution to Mumbai parking woes: Bombay High Court to panel

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the expert committee appointed by the Maharashtra Government last year to continue its deliberations to find a solution to parking woes in Mumbai.

In an order made public on Tuesday, a bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar said once the committee came up with solutions, the government can implement them by taking a policy decision. The order came on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Janhit Manch, an NGO.

The PIL demanded, among other things, a congestion tax on vehicles entering the city from outside and fixing of parking charges for vehicles parked on the road based on the ‘ready reckoner rate’ for properties in that area. Earlier this week, the court had refused to grant any relief saying it could not interfere in a “policy matter”.

In the detailed order, the court reiterated the stand that it cannot lay down a policy. Several orders were passed in the matter by the high court over the last few years, and officers of the government depts concerned too had been “banging their heads” to resolve the issue but they failed to come up with a viable solution, the judges observed.

A committee of experts has already been set up and it must continue to work for finding a solution, the HC said. “We are not inclined to keep the matter on board as the reliefs prayed for are a matter of policy… the interim orders of the court show the court is trying to grapple with a policy matter and obviously, there will be no end to it,” the judges said, asking the panel to continue its meetings.

Housing society withdraws plea

Meanwhile, a housing society in south Mumbai on Wednesday withdrew a petition challenging the new parking rules of the BMC. The civic body has steeply increased the fine for parking vehicles on roads outside authorised parking lots.

The fine amount now ranges from Rs5,000 to Rs15,000, depending on the type of vehicle.

The petition was filed by Chandralok B society and its resident Jignesh Shah. Petitioners’ lawyer Vikram Trivedi on Wednesday informed a division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and SK Shinde they wanted to withdraw it. The court granted the request.

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