Tourism spots could turn free parking zones on weekends, holidays

If approved, the BMC's revised parking policy will allow free parking at tourism spots in the city on weekends and public holidays. This is one of the suggestions the civic administration has incorporated after receiving in-principle approval from a civic group leaders' meeting recently.

"Apart from giving parking facilities for residents of areas abutting public private parking lots, we have listed Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays as possible times during which parking at tourist spots can be turned free parking zones," said additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas, who is in-charge of the traffic department.

"We will start the free parking initiative in areas adjacent to Gateway of India, Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu Chowpatty. A regular review of the tourist areas of Mumbai will be done to see which other places tourists often flock to on holidays and weekends and we will consider relaxing the parking rates there on such days," Srinivas added.

Concurring with Mayor Sunil Prabhu's suggestion of monitoring the issue of illegal parking, the civic traffic department has also proposed that traffic marshalls be appointed.

"The marshalls are to ensure that the policy is strictly followed and to instruct citizens on the new norms. Once we receive formal approval from the improvements committee and subsequently other bodies in the BMC, we can go about appointing an agency to carry out this work," Srinivas said.

The proposal will be tabled once again before the civic improvements committee next week for formal approval.

While the group leaders including Mayor Sunil Prabhu have approved of the policy without raising protests on the proposed 300 per cent fare hike for parking at popular locations across Mumbai during the week, improvements committee chairman Ram Barot, who was also present at the group leaders' meet, reiterated his demand for a reduction in proposed parking charges.

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