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Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA)

Parking mafia runs show unchecked as KMDA fails to act

Arbitrary rates on passport office road

Subhajoy Roy | Published 13.06.23, 04:25 AM
An attendant collects parking fees on the road where the passport office is located, behind Ruby hospital, on Monday evening

An attendant collects parking fees on the road where the passport office is located, behind Ruby hospital, on Monday evening

Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

People parking their cars outside the compound of the building that houses the passport office, off Ruby hospital, continue to be fleeced.

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), custodian of the road along which vehicles are parked, has failed to act against the parking mafia that has been collecting fees illegally and at arbitrary rates.


The Telegraph reported on Sunday that parking attendants were asking for Rs 100 as the fee for parking a car along the road for an hour. For two-wheelers, Rs 40 is the minimum fee.

On Monday, this newspaper found the rate was scaled down to Rs 30-40 an hour for cars, still way more than the approved rate of Rs 10 an hour.

The occupants of a car were seen arguing with a parking attendant while leaving the parking bay on Monday. From a distance, it was clear that the argument was over the parking rate.

The man at the wheel later said he had to give Rs 40 as the parking fee. “The car was parked for less than an hour,” he said.

A parking attendant demanded Rs 30 from this newspaper when it was trying to park its car along the road on Monday afternoon.

The KMDA had failed to take any action till Monday: there was neither a police complaint for the violation nor any raid.

A KMDA official said on Monday afternoon that a police complaint was being drafted.

The plan changed by the evening, when the official said the KMDA was contemplating extending the tenure of the agency that was managing parking along the road.

The official said the agency’s tenure ended last month and floating a new tender to select an agency to manage parking will take some time. “The KMDA will earn some revenue if the tenure of the same agency is extended. This will be a short extension till a new tender is floated and an agency is hired to manage parking on that road,” he said.

“We will make it mandatory for the agency to display parking rates,” said the official.

Many Kolkatans will be galled by such slo-mo action. But the KMDA has often been accused of being callous. It had once allowed Rabindra Sarobar to be mauled by Chhat revellers flouting all green norms that were in place.

No KMDA official was ready to speak on record.

The Telegraph tried to call Vijay Bharti, CEO of the KMDA, for a formal reaction late on Monday. The calls went unanswered.

Government agencies in the city are known to make strong statements but those rarely yield action on the ground.

The overcharging continued on Monday despite a placard displaying the parking rates popping up on a wall along which the cars were parked. The tiny placard and its positioning — only one such board could be seen on a nearly 150-metre stretch — made it hardly visible to those who parked cars or two-wheelers. There was no board last week.

The board mentioned that the parking rate was Rs 10 an hour for four-wheelers, Rs 5 an hour for two-wheelers and Rs 30 an hour for buses and “Matador”.

Twice last week parking attendants had demanded Rs 100 from this newspaper as the minimum parking fee on the stretch.

Last updated on 13.06.23, 11:52 AM

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