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Aversion to digital transaction beats KMC order on POS route for parking fee payment

The enhanced parking fees for cars were in effect from April 1 till April 7 evening

Subhajoy Roy | Published 10.04.23, 07:08 AM
A parking attendant takes cash from a vehicle owner at Park Street on Sunday

A parking attendant takes cash from a vehicle owner at Park Street on Sunday

Gautam Bose

Agencies hired by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to manage parking zones on roads continue to be reluctant to collect fees digitally, though the civic body is insisting on payments through POS machines even after the reversal of the fee hike.

The Telegraph toured the city over the last couple of days and found that parking attendants in most places were still collecting the fee in cash.

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While some attendants said the point of sales (POS) machines had yet to reach them, others had the machines but were averse to using them.

Many of the attendants who had the POS machines pleaded inability to use them saying they had not registered a car’s entry time in the gadget as they had not been told that the payment would be made digitally.

The onus is not on the car occupant or driver to say that the payment will be made digitally, said a KMC official.

The civic body discontinued collection of parking fees in cash on April 1. The ground reality, though, was different.

A civic official said 26 of the 51 agencies that manage parking bays on roads had not procured POS machines till early last week. The ones that had did not buy the machines in adequate numbers.

“There has not been any remarkable improvement in the procurement of POS machines since early last week. Only a handful of agencies have applied to the KMC for procuring them,” a civic official said.

Attendants on Russel Street and Little Russel Street in the central business district did not use POS machines to collect parking fees from this newspaper on Friday and Saturday. The excuse offered by them was the same — they had not been told before that the fee would be paid digitally.

Attendants on Park Street, on the stretch between Flurys and Park Hotel and Middleton Row, did not use POS machines to collect fees on Sunday. On Friday, one attendant had demanded Rs 50 an hour from this newspaper on Park Street. On Saturday, another attendant was spotted collecting Rs 50 from a man who had parked his car for less than an hour.

Civic officials said all attendants have to use POS machines to register the time when a car is parked. When the car leaves, the machine will produce a receipt mentioning the exit time and the fee to be paid.

The enhanced parking fees for cars, which were in effect from April 1 till April 7 evening, were Rs 20 an hour for the first two hours, Rs 40 an hour for the third to the fifth hour and Rs 100 an hour for every hour beyond the fifth.

Following the rollback of the hike, which was announced on order from the Trinamul Congress, the earlier rate of Rs 10 an hour from 7am till 10pm has been restored.

The rates for two-wheelers were also raised and have since been rolled back.

A KMC official said all plans related to parking — floating e-tenders to hire agencies to manage parking bays, asking people who park their cars on the road at night to pay the night parking fee and digital collection of payments — are being implemented as planned and will not be affected by the reversal of the hike. The official said the reversal of rates is “unrelated” to other initiatives of the KMC to usher in more transparency in matters related to parking of vehicles.

Last updated on 10.04.23, 07:08 AM
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