Mumbai: Eight malls to open their parking spaces for public at night

In a bid to tackle the parking space crunch in Mumbai, locals, visitors and commercial vehicle owners will be permitted to park their vehicles between 11 pm and 8 am across eight malls in the city starting December 1.

According to a plan chalked out by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the new Mumbai Parking Authority (MPA), 6,500 new parking spaces will be available. The MPA, responsible for regulating parking in the city, had met mall owners in 2019 to discuss the idea of utilising vacant parking slots in their premises during non-working hours of malls.

While five malls are charging on monthly basis for parking, others have decided on weekly or overnight charges. The highest number of parking spaces, i.e., over 1,100 are available at Phoenix Palladium at Lower Parel at Rs 3,500 per month. The parking rates were decided by the mall authorities. “This will be particularly beneficial for overcrowded residential colonies where the car parking is spilling on streets and where adequate parking is not available within their premises. The malls will also be open to accommodating Ola/ Uber fleet owners for this facility,” said MPA.

Earlier, MPA opened up BEST bus depots for parking private buses. BMC had also declared 100 metres around 29 public parking lots as no-parking zones. Stretches along five arterial roads in different parts of the city too were made no-parking zones. However, the plan was later withdrawn,

The MPA, formed in January this year, got the approval of BMC’s standing committee in May and is headed by additional municipal commissioner P Velrasu. Based on the suggestion from municipal commissioner IS Chahal, MPA is in the process of creating a city parking pool – which will be an online aggregator platform that will have details of all parking spaces available in the city.

Chahal had appealed, “All other government agencies, which have parking areas under them, must be intimated to participate in the city parking pool (CPP) to ensure that citizens can book any parking slot in the city using a single platform.”

Under CPP, the owners (commercial spaces, shopping centres) will be free to open their premises at their will and have the flexibility to keep timings, rates and rules as per their convenience.

The authority has also made recommendations about planning and controlling all road and roadside parking lots in the city.

Experts appointed by the authority will carry out nine tasks, including studying legal matters about workforce implementation, preparing a comprehensive plan for parking management in all the 24 wards, drafting parking policy, uniform signages, and studying proper parking rates, officials said.

To meet the rising demands of affordable parking spaces in each ward, the MPA team is also actively identifying open and vacant plots which can be converted into a surface or underground parking facility.

The eight malls which have opened their parking facility are — Growels 101 in Kandivali, Infinity malls in Andheri and Malad, R City mall Ghatkopar, R mall in Mulund, Inorbit Mall in Malad, Phoenix Market City in Kurla and Phoenix Palladium in Lower Parel.

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