The threat of litigation may hasten the efforts of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to implement the pay and park system early.
The BBMP council recorded the government’s decision to reintroduce pay and park system in the city on Wednesday. Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana told The Hindu that following the council decision, the BBMP would try to implement the system soon, as the BBMP did not want anyone to challenge it in court.
He said officials framing the rules would decide the roads to be included in the three packages proposed. “They will also take a call on whether the parking rates proposed by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) have to be reduced, as we do not want to burden the public,” he said.
The Mayor added that the BBMP would float global tenders, as the new system would require installation of automated parking meters.
Asked if the implementation would be deferred till the general elections are held, he said that the system had no connection with polls. “As the government has already approved it, there is no reason for the BBMP to delay its implementation, especially since it will help decongest roads,” he said.
Former Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem, who was consulted by DULT for the action plan, said the new parking system would be a win-win for both the BBMP and citizens. “While metered parking will help the common citizens, the revenue collected will help the BBMP repair and maintain the city’s roads…Wrong parking and double parking can be avoided,” he said.
M.N. Sreehari, traffic expert, did not oppose pay and park system, but expressed reservations against allowing parking on roads. “Nearly 60 per cent of the city roads are narrow. By allowing vehicles to park on the narrow roads, almost two-thirds of the road capacity will be lost to parking. The BBMP should first ban parking on all roads,” he opined.
He also said that the BBMP should invest in constructing more multilevel parking lots and could construct underground parking lots under the city’s numerous parks. “Building owners who have sought building plan approval by demarcating the parking space and have utilised it for other purposes must be penalised,” he added.
Meanwhile, Save Bangalore Committee condemned the BBMP’s “anti-people” move. The new parking policy was “unjustified and unfair”. “The BBMP’s justification of regulating parking through this new proposal is hollow and illogical,” the committee said in a release and cautioned people that the BBMP’s proposal to introduce parking fee in select areas was a prelude to introduction of the same throughout the city.