In Mumbai, people usually denote the distance between places with respect to the time required to commute between them. For example, if you ask a Mumbaikar how far is Chembur from Lower Parel, you can expect a response: "It's an hour journey by car." With rising vehicular congestion coupled with the lack of space to expand city roads, commuting in the city during rush hour has become quite stressful and tiring. Apart from wasting hours while being stuck in traffic, what makes things even more stressful for car owners is finding a safe parking place.
In order to combat this menace, the Bombay High Court has suggested the Maharashtra government to restrict the number of cars per family. The court has suggested the state government to look at adopting measures like restricting car ownership to just one vehicle per family. It has also suggested the government to consider promoting inland water transport to reduce vehicular congestion.
The Bombay High Court made this suggestion while hearing a public interest litigation on the lack of adequate designated parking spaces in the city. A division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade has told the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Urban Development Ministry and the traffic police to discuss and develop a 'holistic policy' on the city's traffic woes.
The high court observed, "These days every family has two cars. This should be restricted to just one car per family. Unauthorised parking due to lack of space is a very serious problem in Mumbai and is the cause of much traffic congestion. A large number of private vehicles enter the city every morning and leave in the evening, but they have no space for parking through the day. The government cannot sit on the problem anymore."
The court also said, "There was a time about a decade ago when one could commute between Dadar and south Mumbai in just 20 minutes. Doing so is unimaginable now. It takes three hours to travel from Juhu to the airport. While it will not solve all your problems, water transport can act as a complementary mode of transport."
The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government to inform them after four weeks when the next hearing can be scheduled.