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Parking attendants run fee sham

Overcharging continues in the guise of ‘old rates’

Subhajoy Roy | Published 09.04.23, 05:16 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation may have reverted back to the old parking rates — Rs 10 an hour for cars — but parking attendants in many places in the city are still charging Rs 20 an hour. And without a receipt.

At Russel Street, a parking attendant said on Saturday afternoon that the civic body had gone back to the old rates. The old rate, he said, was Rs 20 an hour. On Park Street, attendants were still charging Rs 50 an hour.


On Friday, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) issued an order rolling back the new rates — which became effective from April 1 — within hours of the Trinamul Congress spokesperson and the state general secretary Kunal Ghosh telling a news conference that mayor Firhad Hakim had been told to roll back the hike in the parking fees.

The official order of the KMC, issued on Friday night, reads: “The revised parking rates in respect of KMC Fee Parking Zones introduced on and from 1.4.2023 are hereby withdrawn. Parking fees will be collected as per the previous rates until further order.”

When The Telegraph visited some parking bays on Saturday, a familiar picture of overcharging and extortion came forth.

‘Old’ rate

A parking attendant on Russell Street, opposite The Bengal Club, demanded Rs 20 for parking the car for 20 minutes.

Asked why he was charging Rs 20 an hour though the kMC has reverted back to the old rates, the agent said: “Yes we have gone back to the old rate. The old rate was Rs 20 an hour.”

When pointed out that the old rate was Rs 10 an hour, the man smiled and said: “We do not force anyone to pay Rs 20, but people know this is the rate.”

Given Rs 20 and asked for a receipt, he said he was not told while the car was parked that the payment will be made digitally.

From April 1, all parking fees are supposed to be collected digitally, the KMC had announced.

The rates that were effective between April 1 and April 7 were Rs 20 an hour for first two hours, Rs 40 an hour for the third to fifth hours and Rs 100 an hour for every hour beyond the fifth hour. The rates were increased for two-wheelers too. All the hikes have been rolled back.

Recalibrated POS

The point of sales (POS) machines were recalibrated late on Friday so that Rs 10 an hour receipts could be printed. A parking attendant on Rashbehari Avenue issued a Rs 10 receipt from the POS machine when the newspaper parked the car there for a minute.

Rs 50 on Park Street

Overcharging and fleecing continues on Park Street. A parking attendant took Rs 50 from a car owner as the parking fee for half an hour. He was not provided any receipt. The car had been parked outside Flurys.

When this newspaper asked the attendant why he charged Rs 50 an hour, the attendant said: “I did not force him. He gave out of love.”

Last updated on 09.04.23, 05:20 AM

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