Pune Municipal Corporation Passes Resolution For Free Parking At Multiplexes, Malls

Pune Municipal Corporation Passes Resolution For Free Parking At Multiplexes, Malls

Executive

The City Improvement Committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on June 14, 2019, passed a resolution to make parking free at shopping malls and multiplexes.

Notice will be issued to the owners of these establishments telling them to not to charge visitors to their premises for keeping cars and two-wheelers.

Presently, as many as 15 multiplexes and 40 shopping malls operate in the city. Most of them charge parking fee ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 20 per hour for four-wheelers and Rs 10 and Rs 20 for the same duration for two-wheelers.

“Many visitors are left with no option but to pay the parking charges at the malls and multiplexes. It is the responsibility of these property owners to provide parking facility to visitors. So, we have reached out to them and told them to do away with the parking fee,” said Amol Balwadkar, the head of the City Improvement Committee.

He said that charging a hefty parking fee is an injustice to common citizens.

The PMC officials stated that these establishments were expected to have parking facility, but there was no provision in the development control (DC) rules or development plan (DP) to provide free parking. The option of making parking free could be explored with the help of judgments given by the High Courts, they added.

Earlier, in 2012, the PMC had attempted to ensure free parking at such establishments, however, it could not implement it properly because of lack of suitable provisions in the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) and DC rules of the corporation.

The PMC’s chief legal advisor, Ravindra Thorat, said, “A directive of the Andhra Pradesh High Court had stated that the malls cannot charge fee from the visitors. We will use the directive to issue the notices.”

The High Court orders issued in the case of CH Madan Mohan v. Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in 2003 stated, “In so far as multi-storeyed commercial complexes are concerned, the builder/owner under law has impliedly accepted by reason of building permission and other provisions to keep parking places for the use by visitors to the complex and hence, builders/owners or their licensees cannot charge any fees.”

Welcoming the decision, civic activists stressed on steps to make sure that it is implemented properly. “The decision will help citizens. But a constant watch should be kept, so that a via-media is not found by the owners (of malls and multiplexes) to recover the charges. The PMC order should be foolproof and legally weighted,” said Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch, a citizens’ group.

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