With space crunch and the civic body imposing heavy fines for unauthorised parking in the city, residents and commuters of Kemps Corner have taken to parking their vehicles inside the Parsi Tower of Silence Cemetery, also known as Doongerwadi, forcing the cemetery’s trust to impose a fine of Rs 500 and clamping of vehicles parked illegally inside the premises.
Article by Aftab Shaikh | Mumbai Mirror
The cemetery, which is managed by Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP), has put up a notice on the road leading to the prayer hall of the Doongewadi. The notice states that parking space is strictly meant for those attending funeral ceremonies, obsequies and staff residents only. “Unauthorised and illegally parked vehicles will be clamped attracting Rs 500 as fine even for a day (a part of a day/night),” the notice reads. The notice is issued by BPP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cawas Panthaki.
Speaking to Mirror, Trustee of BPP Kersi Randeria said that although private vehicles, mostly from the community, station their cars at the parking space of Doongerwadi, the number of such parkings increased after the BMC hiked its fine for unauthorised parking. “Certainly people park in Doongerwadi to avoid heavy fines by the BMC. Regular shoppers and nearly residents usually park in the premises,” Randeria added. He also alleged that young boys used to enter the parking area with their vehicles to hang out with their friends throughout the night.
Since the notice has been erected three weeks ago, 10 such vehicles have been clammed but were left after a warning. “The owner of the car was told to produce the original documents of the ownership of the car in the office in order to release the respective vehicles. We let them go with a warning instead of imposing a fine,” said an official who manages the functioning of Doongerwadi. He claimed that unauthorised parking has reduced after putting up the notice.
However, some residents, especially from the Parsi community, did not take side with the decision. “When we clammed their vehicles, many community members retaliated saying the place is for the community. However, we explained to them how parking affects the functioning of the cemetery. Also, it is not a private property owned by the trust,” Randeria added, saying at the time of the funeral, relatives find it difficult to park their vehicle.
Speaking to Mirror, local resident Arshan Mehta said, “Many people from the community park their vehicles on the premises including myself, especially when I have quick work in the nearby area. I park it only for a couple of hours until I am done with my work. We have a major parking issue in the area.” Meanwhile, another commuter said, “Rs 500 fine is better than paying a fine of Rs 10,000.”
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Traffic Police have implemented revised traffic fines for parking in the no-parking zones across the city. The fines range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 23,000. The penalty is applicable to all the vehicles parked in a 500-meter radius of the 26 authorised public parking lots and 20 designated BEST depots in the city. In the Kemps Corner area, there is only one dedicated public parking lot situated near Altamount Road.