Dadar Parsi Colony Has Been Turned Into ‘Parking Colony’

Bombay High Court ban on parking under the Khodadad flyover has pushed all kinds of cabs into quaint Parsi Colony

A high court order has inadvertently turned the Dadar Parsi Colony into the Dadar Parking colony. Miffed with all kinds of taxis parking in its premises -after they were not allowed to park under the Khodadad flyover – and causing a ‘great nuisance’ to residents, the colony’s residents wrote to the local police and the BMC in November, seeking an end to the issue. They have got no respite yet.

The Bombay High Court disallowed parking underneath flyovers in February 2016 because of security concerns. Because of that, cabbies have shifted from parking underneath the Khodadad Circle flyover to the Colony.

Cabbies have shifted from parking under the flyover to Dadar Parsi Colony
Cabbies have shifted from parking under the flyover to Dadar Parsi Colony

This has angered residents of the iconic community housing enclave in Dadar East, who first sent an anguished letter about their grievances to the Sion Police Station. The letter cited that private taxi aggregators, black and yellow cabs, and other cabs are parking in the colony, causing a, “great nuisance” to residents, especially those of Katrak, Firdoshi, Khareghat and Mancherji Joshi roads within the colony. Their letter went on to say that cabs are being parked haphazardly, blocking traffic within the colony and not giving its residents any space to park their cars.

Residents Darayus (who goes by his first name), Zarine Engineer, Dilly Dalal, Anjali Cooper, Zinobia Schroff, Sunita Davar and Nikhil Desai said, “The problem started after parking under flyovers was stopped by a High Court order. We appreciate this security measure, yet a majority the cabs that used to be parked under the Khodadad flyover have now made Dadar Parsi Colony their home. This has become a free parking spot.”

Garden pardon
When mid-day visited the flyover, underneath which cabs used to be parked, it was clear of vehicles and shuttered from one side. The cab booking office though was functional.

A staffer sat at the ticket window for Mumbai-Pune cabs and said sarcastically, “Bageecha bana rahe hain, pareshaan kar diya.” (A garden is being made here; we have been troubled because of no parking).

Said Dadar colony resident Dilly Dalal, “We have become a soft target because the community is so peaceful; we do not stoop to rowdy protests or resort to hooliganism.” Instead, these Parsis believe in the power of the pen. Another letter was sent in November, to the BMC’s assistant engineer of the waterworks department (F/North Ward), which encapsulated residents’ arguments about cab parking bringing in social ills.

This letter read, “There is an illegal racket on at Katrak Road Junction. A flower merchant draws water illegally from a toilet meant for shopkeepers and then the cabs are cleaned.” Residents pointed out the huge amount of cab washing makes the roads slippery, and has turned the place into “an illegal taxi stand.” They stated that cab parking has a domino effect, “it leads to problems like drinking and other anti-social behaviour.”

Residents said angrily that, “There is double and triple parking because of these cabs and we have been rendered helpless against this.” Desai added, “Despite complaints, the system is not responding to the problem.”

Locals were also in no mood to hum ‘dil garden, garden ho gaya’ when told that a beautiful garden is going to come up under the flyover, which they could access, pointing to at least 14 gardens within the colony itself. Cooper said, “Authorities should have found an alternate and viable parking space before shutting the parking underneath the flyover.”

No solution
Amey Gole, the corporator for Dadar Parsi Colony, said he has had several meetings with residents, but nothing has come out of them. Gole added, “I am, in fact, in-charge of the garden coming up underneath the flyover. The design is almost complete; it looks like the streets of Paris.”

Gole added, “Having said that, I do know the problems being caused by parked cabs, and have spoken to the police about these. The police though had a negative attitude and said they could not move the cabs out of the colony. Cops have to ensure the cabs move out, not the BMC. We do have other parking spaces in the area. All of this is extremely difficult as I have been repeatedly told there is no solution,” finished Gole.

Published on Mid-Day