Voicing its concern over the increasing vehicular congestion in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to clarify its stand on the issue. The court has asked the government to spell out if it could make it mandatory for potential vehicle users to submit a ‘parking proof’ before purchasing a four-wheeler vehicle.
Basically, the court has asked the government to clarify if it would consider making it mandatory for every person who purchases a new vehicle, to declare if he has space for parking. And if not, the government can consider restraining such customers from purchasing new vehicle.
A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Nitin Sambre said, “There has been a 56 per cent rise in purchase of vehicles in the city in the last five years, leading to congestion on roads. We cannot allow the city to lead in this fashion – creating a situation wherein there is an addition of lakhs of vehicles every year. There must be some mechanism in place to ensure that the city is not congested with vehicles.”
“We think the absence of a mechanism to reduce these vehicles has deprived the citizens of their right to walk freely on the roads. We want you (government) to place on record the data of persons who have multiple vehicles registered in their name,” Justice Patil said. The judges were hearing a PIL filed by activist Bhagwanji Rayani, highlighting the woes of Mumbaikars due to the vehicular traffic.
During the course of hearing, Justice Patil also asked the government to spell out in an affidavit its parking policy and how many parking slotsit proposes to construct. “Looking at the vehicular congestion, we feel there must be multi-level parking lots in the city. Let us know how many parking lots you plan to construct in the coming future,” Justice Patil said.
Meanwhile, the judges were informed about the policy in Delhi wherein the diesel vehicles are totally banned from plying in the national capital. Having heard of the status in Delhi, Justice Patil remarked, “We fail to understand why such a policy is not adopted in a city like Mumbai. Why there are no restrictions on these vehicles.” Posting the matter for further hearing on February 16, the judges have also asked the government to list the impact of the pollution caused by the vehicles on the health of children and senior citizens.