Parking illegally in Mumbai has just gotten super expensive. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – the civic body that runs the city – and the Mumbai Traffic Police, have come up with new fines for wrong/illegal parking, and the maximum fine for a mere parking offence is now Rs. 23,000 in case of heavy vehicles, Rs. 15,100 for light motor vehicles, Rs. 12,200 for three wheelers and Rs. 8,300 for two wheelers.
According to a report on ETAuto, these parking fines will now be applicable to all vehicles parked within 500 metre radius of the 26 authorized public parking lots and 20 designated BESTS depots in the city. The whole idea behind the steep parking fines is to ensure that people don’t break the law, and park illegally in unauthorized spots. And the BMC has even tied up with ex-servicemen and professional security guards to implement these fines as they expect major resistance from violators, at least initially.
Initially, these traffic fines will be limited to high congestion areas of the city, and will eventually be implemented across the city in a phased manner. In other words, the entire city of Mumbai – where space is at a premium for almost everyone – will get really massive parking fines that could deter even the really rich from parking illegally.
On whether these steep fines will encourage corruption among the officials in charge of collecting these fines and overseeing the implementation of the new rules remains to be seen. Usually, a very high fine in India has three repurcussions: 1. Violators get in line and begin adhering to rules. 2. Blatant corruption occurs, where violators are let off with much lower fines, with officials pocketing the smaller fines as bribes. 3. Big protests from violators leading to authorities withdrawing such large fines.
Meanwhile, an official from the BMC had this to say about the new parking fines,
“This will curb instances of people simply parking anywhere, disappearing for brief to prolonged periods to complete some work before returning, but by that time, traffic is already in chaos, especially on main road.”
Traffic fines in India, as a whole, are set to increase in the coming months as the parliament has just approved the Motor Vehicle Amendment bill. The steep increase in fines are meant to deter people from violating traffic rules in the first place. However, we’ll know how such fines are likely to pan out once BMC begins implementing the steeply increased fines for illegal/wrong parking.