Eatery eats up Ranchi parking space

At a time motorists and bikers struggle to find room for their vehicles on Mahatma Gandhi Road, a portion of the designated parking lot near Kali Mandir is being used to run an eatery.

By Raj Kumar in Ranchi
  • Published 19.09.18
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The busy eatery at a corner of the RMC parking lot along Mahatma Gandhi Road in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Ranchi: At a time motorists and bikers struggle to find room for their vehicles on Mahatma Gandhi Road, a portion of the designated parking lot near Kali Mandir is being used to run an eatery.

For three weeks at a stretch, the makeshift grub hub has been encroaching upon a corner of the parking lot that can host over 200 vehicles. Hence, as plates of chicken and chapatti sell for Rs 70 each under a plastic shed, at least 10-15 vehicles are forced to hunt for parking space elsewhere.

"In our country, squatters make and break governments. Who will dare ask them to go? God help us," an angry biker was overheard telling a Home Guard jawan who pleaded helplessness.

The jawan told this newspaper that the eatery was in business for 20 days. "I don't know who gave the owner permission. All I know is that the eatery does not pay a penny for using the space," he said, adding that the RMC parking charges ranged from Rs 10 to Rs 30 for two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers.

Md Mustaque who runs the eatery, Kara Hotel, defended his business saying that he was ready to pay any fee for using the parking lot, but no one ever asked him to.

"I have been running this place for 40 years. When the parking lot was under the supervision of a contractor, I paid the fee I was charged. For two years now, the situation has changed. The RMC looks after the parking lot and does not collect any fee from me," Mustaque said.

City manager (marketing) of RMC Swati Raj disagreed with the claims made by the eatery owner and promised to relocate Kara Hotel.

"Running an eatery in a parking lot is illegal. In fact, it was removed five times in two years. The RMC had even seized stocks. Somehow the eatery keeps coming back. We have deputed a Home Guard jawan to look after the parking lot. Our enforcement team will remove the eatery again in a day or two," she said.

And, what if it crops up again? The RMC official did not seem to have a solution.