The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken a novel approach to solve parking issues.
By the end of the year, Mumbai residents will be able to book parking slots at seven major parking lots in the city, via an app that the BMC is planning to develop.
The civic body has already asked for expressions of interest (EOIs) from companies.
"The plan needs to be holistic. BMC needs to map all parking lots in South Mumbai, only after which will this mobile application be successful," said AV Shenoy, a transport expert from the Mumbai Vikas Samiti.
Notably, the BMC had floated the idea of a web-based parking slot booking system in 2013, but it had failed to gather momentum then.
However, now there's fresh impetus under the BMC's new parking policy, which saw the civic body divide Mumbai into three zones based on traffic densities.
Parking rates have been hiked accordingly, and range from Rs. 20 to Rs. 60.
The app envisioned by BMC will be similar to the IRCTC's ticket booking app.
Once released, the app will help Mumbai residents locate available parking slots in any of the registered parking lots, and will allow round-the-clock booking in advance of an hour or more.
Services will initially be available for parking lots in Crawford Market, Eros Cinema, Flora Fountain, and four other places.
Insofar as payments are concerned, the app will allow citizens to pay for their parking slots online. To avail their booked parking slot, all citizens have to do is show their e-invoice at the parking lot.
Transport experts have welcomed the BMC's idea, and think that it could be an effective solution.
Earlier this year, Larsen & Toubro had approached the BMC with an offer to develop the app and take the parking system online.
However, to keep the tendering process fair and competitive, the BMC decided to invite EOIs from all parties interested in developing the app.
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