Bombay HC orders NMMC to reevaluate the parking spaces in Navi Mumbai

The Bombay High Court has recently passed a judgement based on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Social Activist, Sandeep Thakur directing the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to have a fresh look at the need to have better and adequate parking spaces within their jurisdiction.

It has directed the Commissioner of NMMC to form an expert committee that will conduct a study and submit its report within four months, outlining the suggestions for amendments to the Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulations (UDCPR).

UDCPR is a set of rules that governs real estate development in Maharashtra. It was introduced by the state government in December 2020 to bring uniformity, transparency, and sustainability in urban planning and construction.

It applies to all planning authorities and regional plan areas in Maharashtra, except Mumbai, hill stations, eco-sensitive zones, and specified corporation areas.

The bench of Hon’ble Chief Justices DK Upadhyay and Arif S Doctor heard this PIL filed by the Thakur.

The court said that the NMMC and State Government should take appropriate steps to provide better and adequate parking spaces by following the procedure as per the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966 and the entire procedure is expected to be completed within a year.

While recognising its limits court passed this order and also ensured that the spirit of the petitioner doesn’t die for raising public causes for having better parking spaces.

Thakur raised concerns over alleged non-compliance with the Bombay High Court’s 2016 order and the problems faced by the residents and commuters in Navi Mumbai over inadequate parking spaces. The PIL was filed by him in the year 2016.

Thakur opined that the parking challenges may see improvements.

A resident in Nerul, working in the IT sector, Bhushan Undir, 40 stated that the reserved spaces are turned into parking spaces and no one can say anything against the local people who have taken the contract of pay-n-park in Nerul.

 non- compliance of odd-even day parking policy ( date of visit- 9th Jan) (sector 20) 

The NMMC had implemented two policies: pay-n-park and odd-even-day parking which were introduced in 2017 and end of 2016 and start of 2017, respectively.

Odd-Even-Day parking policy states that vehicles will be allowed to park only on one side of the road. On even days (2, 4, 6, 8,..) vehicles could be parked only on the right side of the road and on odd days (1, 3, 5, 7,..) vehicles are allowed only to park on the left side of the road.

A visit on 2nd, 4th and 9th January to Nerul in Sectors 8 and 20, revealed immediately that there was little or no adherence to the odd-even parking days and the roads, already congested, were made even worse by the presence of hawkers. A two-lane road at Nerul was reduced to one lane and there was chaos everywhere.

No hawkers zone being flouted and causing problems for people to walk on the road and passing of vehicles, sector 20

Sanjay Kanojiya, an employee in a clothes shop said that I don’t think any changes would happen and odd-even boards were put up just for the namesake.

“Nobody from the police or corporation comes here but on the other lane at the sector 8, they keep a check on hawkers. The hawkers take away their stalls when the police are on rounds but come back to the same place after some time,” said Kanojiya.

He also narrated how his customers face a lot of problems due to auto rickshaws and other vehicles being parked outside the shop, with a few willing to raise their voices against the practice as they fear aggression may erupt, as it has in the past. Many customers go away since there is no space to enter the shop due to parking problems, he added.

Asked to comment upon the judgement, Somnath Kekan, Assistant Director of Town Planning, said, “The NMMC will take appropriate steps”.

Mansi Bhaktwani

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