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 Home > City Resources > Automotive > Park to perish

 Park or perish  

Time: 0845 am Nariman Point, Mumbai
Action: Cars rushing in, occupying parking areas as quickly as possible.

A parking space is the most coveted place in commercial areas like Nariman Point, Fort, and Churchgate. Parking areas in Mumbai's business areas could have high market value in the real estate market. Parking has become a nightmare for people who drive down to their offices in town every morning and struggle to find a place to squeeze in their vehicle.

As they drive down from the city's suburbs into town, the question that keeps ringing in their heads is "Will I get a parking slot today ? " Faiz, a resident of Hiranandani, Powai, who works for LT at Nariman Point, says, "I can reach my office on time if I start at 8.15 in the morning, but in order to get a parking slot, I move out of my house half an hour before that." In these areas, the taxi driver is king. People park their cars at far off parking areas, where they can avoid the risk of having their vehicle towed away, and travel the rest of the way by cab.

Ashok Kumar, who runs business centres at Nariman Point, says, "Nowadays, any company, before buying office space, inquires about the parking facilities available. Parking facilities have become the most important selling point for office property. High rates for business centres without the basic facilities is a reason for corporates to move towards more spacious areas like Bandra-Kurla and Powai, where they can also expand their business."

Improper planning of business localities is the major cause of the car parking problem. As the number of business strucutres and offices increase in a limited area, office workers and businessmen, increaingly find themselves without a place to park their vehicles. The constant increase of traffic also leads to traffic jams that last for hours. In such business hubs another major problem is the flow of traffic in a fixed, one way direction. Residential areas can accommodate visiting traffics during day time, but in commercial centres, the visiting traffic is higher than existing, permanent traffic. So it becomes really troublesome to maintain traffic.

People who own parking areas, gain high returns. A permanent parking slot in one of Nariman Point's prime 'A' grade buildings can fetch around a few lakh rupees. This is a big reason why it is the most sought after real estate.

By : Sharmistha Chakraborty
Photos Vinayak Prabhu

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