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Cash still continues as parking fee

KMC had promised that cash payments will be done away with once new parking rates were implemented in April

Subhajoy Roy | Published 02.04.23, 04:58 AM
A parking attendant takes a cash payment in the Gariahat area on Saturday

A parking attendant takes a cash payment in the Gariahat area on Saturday

Parking fee was collected in cash across most parking bays in the city though the attendants were charging the new rates that became effective from Saturday.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had promised that cash payments will be done away with once new parking rates were implemented in April.

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But that has not happened. 

In many of the parking bays where cash payments were still underway, either the point of sales (POS) had not arrived or the attendants complained about operational difficulties in running the machines, which is why they said they were accepting cash payments.

The POS machines, the ones that are used to swipe debit/credit cards, have been adjusted in a way that they can accept payment through cards or UPI payments.  

The new parking fee for four-wheelers is Rs 20 an hour for the first two hours. The old rate was Rs 10 an hour from 7am to 10pm. 

According to the new rates, the car parking fee is Rs 40 an hour from the third till the fifth hour. After that, the rate is Rs 100 an hour.

Under the Gariahat flyover, on Rashbehari Avenue and at the  Jhowtala Road-Syed Amir Ali Avenue crossing, parking attendants were taking cash payments. 

The attendants under the flyover and on Jhowtala Road said they were yet to receive the POS machines. "It could take another fortnight for the machines to arrive," said one attendant at Jhowtala Road. 

At Rashbehari Avenue — near Gariahat Bata — the attendant complained about printed receipts not coming out of the machine. "I switched off the machine after it could not produce receipts on two occasions," said the attendant. 

But in none of the places, the attendants were giving any receipt to the car occupants against the payments they made, a practice that the POS machines were supposed to stop.

The machines are supposed to provide receipts with the time of entry, time of exit and total amount to be paid when a car leaves a parking bay. In the absence of the machines in many places, the objective could not be achieved. 

In all these places, the attendants told the car occupants that the rates have gone up and they have to give Rs 20/hr for the first two hours. 

A Bhowanipore resident said the increase for the first two hours will not come as a surprise to most because they had probably been paying this amount for many years now. "In most places, Rs 20 an hour was charged and people had become used to paying it though they were being overcharged," said the man. 

A senior KMC official admitted that some parking bays still did have POS machines on Saturday. "We have camps scheduled in our headquarters for next week where the parking cooperatives and agencies can come and apply for additional POS machines."

Last updated on 02.04.23, 04:58 AM
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