In the months to come, you may find truckers parking their vehicles on city roads as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to do away with a truck terminal at Wadala for Dahisar and Mankhurd.
Neither does the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have any plan to provide its spaces at these two locations anytime soon.
“A master plan is being finalised for Wadala, wherein the truckers association will be allotted space in two buildings inside the Wadala Truck Terminal,” said a senior development authority official.
If the truckers are accommodated in two buildings, it would mean no space would be required to park their heavy vehicles in Wadala, which is planned to be converted into another high-end business district similar to the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
In all, there’s 139.87 hectares under MMRDA’s jurisdiction open for conversion into a mix of residential, commercial and transport hub. Out of the entire area, 19.50 hectares is been utilised by truckers, including the Bombay Goods Transport Association.
For years now, there have been plans on paper to relocate the truck terminus from Wadala to Dahisar and Mankhurd so that they can be kept off city roads only to reduce traffic in the city.
In order to relocate it to the fringes, the plots identified in Dahisar and Mankhurd have been with the BMC as octroi posts. “There aren’t any immediate plans with the civic body to abolish octroi taxation in Mumbai. There is no city in the world that has octroi; Mumbai is a different story altogether,” informed the official.
The BMC may abolish octroi only after the Goods and Services Tax Bill is passed by Parliament and it comes into effect in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Octroi as well as property tax are among the top revenue modes for the BMC, hence the reluctance to abolish it instantly.
During the fiscal 2015-16, the civic body had collected Rs4,737 crore from octroi and aims at gathering Rs6,850 crore in the ongoing fiscal.
Unless the BMC decides to do away with octroi, land will not be available to park trucks, trailers, tempos, etc, resulting in movement of these heavy vehicles on city roads and adding to its choked situation.