Even after the KMC had rolled back graded parking fee hike in Kolkata after prod from the party, confusion still prevails in the city.
Some parking attendants are charging any amount from harried commuters and they are not using the POS machine.
Stick to the chart
Almost all parking spots at the Esplanade area were full on Thursday thanks to the shopping spree for Eid and Poila Baisakh.
Two-wheeler parking attendants were seen charging Rs 20 per hour, while four-wheeler drivers/owners were paying anything between Rs 30 and Rs 50 per hour depending on the size of the vehicle. “When we were looking for a spot for our Toyota Fortuner, the parking attendant asked us to shell out Rs 50 per hour to get a slot. When we countered by saying that the rate is Rs 10, he said it was a ‘take it or leave it deal’. In this heat, it was not possible to move around with such a huge vehicle to scout for another spot, so we had to give in,” said the driver.
Similarly, owners of high-powered motorcycles are either refused a slot or are “fleeced” at several parking spots. The scene is similar at Middleton Street, Mirza Ghalib Street, Russell Street, and Jeevan Deep.
“The attendants informed me about the Rs 20-per hour charge in advance and only after I agreed, he made space for my vehicle,” said Souryadeep Goswami, a sales executive who had parked at Russell Street.
What KMC’s website says
According to the KMC website, the parking rates between 7 to 10 are Rs 5 for two-wheelers, Rs 10 for four-wheelers and Rs 20 per hour for buses and trucks. The night parking rates are Rs 10 for two-wheelers, Rs 30 for four-wheelers and Rs 60 for buses and trucks per hour. “No one must pay more than the existing rates. We will take action against offenders if we receive complaints,” said an official from the KMC parking department.
Insist on POS machine
In and around central Kolkata, most attendants are asking for cash and the POS machines were not to be seen on Thursday. Asked about the absence of POS machines, some attendants said that as the old rates have been re-implemented, there is no need for the machine. Others collected cash on the pretext of “poor net connectivity”.
Narrating her plight on Wednesday, a student said initially, she refused to pay in cash for her parked two-wheeler at Park Street, saying that she would only pay via UPI.
“When the parking attendant refused to accept UPI payment(s), I said that I didn’t have cash. He then provided me with his personal UPI number,” she added.
Asked about this, the KMC parking department officials said, “The rule says that every person must pay through the machine only and the attendants are bound to give a printed receipt,” said the official.
Complain with proof
Commuters being harassed have been urged by the KMC to lodge a complaint with the parking superviser at 22861000 with the extension number being 2829. “It would help us if the complainant has proof (of harassment) like a video or a still photo. We would investigate and take prompt action,” said the official.