Blame malls for traffic woes on Linking Road, says BMC

Blame malls for traffic woes on Linking Road, says BMC

Several rounds of inspections, spread over four months, reveal that none of the five malls blamed for the traffic congestion utilise their parking bays; but BMC says it cannot force malls to toe the line

A civic body report, prepared on the basis of inspections conducted over a period of four months, has blamed five malls for the traffic chaos on the Linking Road stretch between Bandra and Khar.

Flooded with complaints against the five malls for illegal extensions and encroachment from spacecrunched residents, the BMC had asked the assistant municipal commissioner of the ward (H West) to identify the problem areas.

The inspection report, which has been forwarded to the municipal commissioner, says none of the five malls utilise their parking bays, resulting in hundreds of vehicles spilling on to the streets.

The report names Kenilwort-Mall, Zain Arcade, Link Corner Mall, Link Square Mall, and Crystal Shoppers Paradise, saying the designated parking areas have been lying unused more or less from the time the malls became operational many years ago.

The BMC report said illegally parked vehicles were a biggest hurdle in way of smooth traffic flow. “If these car parking areas are forced to function, there will be less congestion and it is likely to ensure smooth functioning of traffic,” the report said. And it’s not just the parking bays… the report has highlighted a number of violations, such as the malls encroaching on open spaces, creating space illegally by covering terraces, and illegal extensions. Here’s what the BMC inspections revealed:

Started operations in 2006

The mall, better known for housing a KFC outlet, has 21 parking slots in basement level II. The BMC inspections revealed the parking bay remains unused. The complex houses 120 shops, and the BMC report said that several of those shops have encroached on areas earmarked as open spaces.

Started operations in 2003

The area set aside for parking inside the mall can accommodate merely 12 vehicles. This is a ridiculously small number when taken into consideration that the mall houses 100 shops. The BMC report said the basement, which is shown as area reserved for parking, has been shut. “Even the car lift in the mall is not functioning, ” the report said. The report further said the mall authorities have encroached on open spaces in and around the complex.

Started operations in 2007

The civic body report said the parking bay at basement II is lying unused because the car lift is not functioning. Several shops have come up on areas earmarked as open spaces, and the patrons’ vehicles take up whatever space is available around the complex.


Started operations in 2007

There are two parking bays here, with a combined capacity to accommodate around 70 vehicles. While the parking bays have not been turned into commercial spaces, it has emerged that the mall has been using only one bay for the past several months.

Started operations in 2006

The parking bay at basement level II is designed to accommodate 34 vehicles. The BMC inspections revealed that over four months, the parking bay wasn’t used even once.

The BMC, however, can’t on its own force the malls to throw open their parking lots, according to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Arvind Hire.

“We will coordinate with the traffic police, and take up the matter with mall authorities,” he said. The officials managing the malls remained unavailable for comment.