Mumbai parking rules: More street fights feared

MUMBAI: The state government has proposed to reduce for visitors in from the mandatory 25% to just 5% of the total space allotted for the purpose in the new development control rules. Activists said this will lead to further congestion as visitors will be forced to park on roads.

Housing experts said the existing 25% rule is hugely misused by builders who sell these slots and make profit. Moreover, several housing societies flout this norm by putting up boards outside their gates stating that car by visitors is not allowed inside.

The government has proposed the changes in a modification plan published on November 13, inviting public suggestions for and against it.

Parking rules: More ‘street fights’ feared

A builder TOI spoke to justified the government’s move saying that providing 25% extra slots for parking amounts to a major financial burden on builders as they cannot sell these spaces. Today, a builder is allowed to sell parking to a flat owner, provided it is covered and not open to the sky.

Advocate Vinod Sampat said, “This move is meant to promote interests of the builder lobby at the expense of home buyers. When one goes to visit relatives and friends, they need visitors parking space in the housing society or they are forced to park on the road. No one follows rules in old societies that have 25% visitors parking. There is a need to regulate this. In the coming days, the city will witness more fights over parking.”

Development control rules make provisions for parking space in societies according to affordability (see box).

In case a builder wants to construct more parking, he must pay a premium to the BMC. In several instances, builders sell visitor parking to residents or the society itself allots it to existing members as rarely is any authority interested in keeping a check on it.

The government did not amend the regulation for 25 years, despite the fact that now Mumbaikars prefer to have a vehicle even while living in 1BHK flats measuring 450 sq ft.

Indrani Malkani, trustee, Together VCAN, said, “Reducing space for visitors parking will be counterproductive as it will force more people to park on roads.” Ramesh Prabhu of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association said, “Visitors need parking too. This will create more hurdles.” Shirish Sukhatme of Practising Engineers Architects & Town Planners Association though said, “It’s a welcome decision. At many places builders are struggling to recover parking construction cost from flat buyers.”

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