Taking a serious note of the increasing parking woes in the city, the Bombay High Court today asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other authorities to consider regulating the number of vehicles on the road and imposing cost for parking on the roadside.
The division bench of Justices N H Patil and V L Achliya was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Sudhir Barge, which alleges evasion of octroi by owners of 725 vehicles in connivance with RTO officials. "Why don't you (BMC) consider regulation of vehicles? Why do you want court to pass orders? As the custodian of the city you should look into it," Justice Patil said.
Earlier, Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Kamath-Pai informed that there were over 100 dealers in the city and over 40,000 new vehicles were registered in the city last year. The petitioner alleged that the vehicle owners submit forged documents and register vehicles in neighbouring cities even though they live in Mumbai, to avoid paying octroi. The bench sought to know what steps were taken by the Regional Transport Office while registering the vehicles. Pai said the RTO does not cross-check the documents submitted at the time of registration.
She also pointed out that an earlier order of the high court passed in March 2008 had said it did not need to pass any directions as RTO and other authorities were taking action. "Nothing has changed in the last six years. Parking space is still not there. In fact, the situation has worsened. Where will people park? The situation will be the same even after 50 years," said Justice Patil. The judges suggested that before registering a vehicle, the authorities should seek a letter from the housing society that there is parking space for the vehicle in the building.
To the court's query, BMC lawyer Prakash Naik said no cost is recovered for parking on the roadside. The court suggested that the corporation should consider imposing cost in such cases. The PIL will be heard next after two weeks.