The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has served showcause notices to four parking cooperative agencies after surprise raids conducted by inspectors revealed that the agencies were not using POS machines to collect parking fees.
A senior official of the parking department of the KMC said inspectors from the department made surprise visits on four roads from south to central Kolkata — Chetla Central Road, Rashbehari Avenue, Ganesh Chandra Avenue and Middleton Street — on Tuesday.
Four different agencies manage parking on these roads. Each of them was handed over showcause notice, said the official.
The civic body launched digital payments of parking fees from April 1. All cash payments for parking were supposed to have stopped from that day.
One of the reasons for shifting to digital payments was to stop the fleecing of car owners by attendants who charge more than the stipulated rates in almost all parking bays of Kolkata.
But parking attendants were still taking cash payments and asking for more than the stipulated rates.
“We have showcaused agencies who were not using POS (point of sales) machines to collect parking fees despite having procured the machines. They have been asked to reply within seven days why no action should be taken against them,” said Debashis Kumar, the mayoral council member who heads the parking department of the KMC.
“Those cooperatives and agencies that have not taken POS machines will be told once again to procure the machines. If after sufficient time the agencies do not procure the machines, we will showcause them too,” said Kumar.
After raising parking rates on April 1, the KMC rolled back the rates on April 7. The reversal was triggered by an announcement Congress by Trinamul spokesperson Kunal Ghosh that the rates were hiked without the approval of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the party.
The current parking rates — which should be charged — are Rs 10 an hour for cars and Rs 5 an hour for two-wheelers for any duration between 7am and 10pm.
The Telegraph has reported that parking attendants across the city were still asking for more than the stipulated rates.