Justifying its decision to levy parking charges on vehicles entering its premises, the Mumbai International Airport Limited has told the Bombay High Court it was imperative considering the chaos and security issues.
A charge of Rs. 110 is levied on each vehicle for entry into Terminal 2. A fine of Rs. 1,100 is levied on those vehicles which lose their parking receipt.
The MIAL filed an affidavit in response to a PIL by city resident Akhil Chitre, seeking direction to the authority to stop levying parking charges on vehicles entering the international airport.
MIAL, in its affidavit, said the situation at Mumbai’s airport is chaotic with security concerns and hence, a systematic navigation system needed to be implemented.
“When there was no charge or minimum time prescribed for a vehicle entering or staying during pick-up, grave problems were noted on a daily basis. It was noted that commercial vehicles would park at pick-up points endlessly, leading to chaotic situation,” it said.
“Such chaotic situation was a security nightmare and the Mumbai airport being a highly sensitive location and also a probable target for terrorist attacks, the security of the airport was being compromised,” the affidavit said.
“The situation at the Mumbai airport is so chaotic that it cannot be regulated despite presence of security personnel as there is always a barrage of vehicles picking up passengers. Considering all this, it was imperative to regulate the pick-up points so as to avoid compromising the safety and security of the airport,” MIAL said.
The affidavit further pointed out that the Mumbai airport is extremely constrained space wise and with limited availability of land for further development, it is necessary that every possible space is put to best use.
The affidavit claimed that MIAL under its agreement with the Union government has exclusive right and authority of operating, maintaining, developing, designing, constructing and modernising the Mumbai Airport.
“Under the said agreement, MIAL has been authorised to levy and collect charges for provision of aeronautical and non-aeronautical services and vehicle parking falls under the second category,” it further said.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur posted the petition for hearing after two weeks.