BMC raids Saheed Nagar parking lot for overcharging - Attendants used to charge Rs 5 and issue fake tickets instead of the usual fee of Rs 2

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By LELIN KUMAR MALLICK
  • Published 5.03.12
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Bhubaneswar, March 4: Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials raided a parking lot in front of a shopping mall in Saheed Nagar today after getting complaints of excessive parking fee being charged there.

The corporation lodged an FIR and later, two persons were arrested. The BMC officials also seized a ticket book with Rs 5 parking tickets instead of the actual Rs 2 ones. The attendants were also charging money for keeping the helmets of those who parked their two-wheelers.

Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said the contract for the parking lot would be cancelled. “We have received a complaint about excessive parking fees at the parking lot. The parking lot will be now managed by BMC officials,” said Jena. He also asked for the support of citizens in the matter asking them to let the BMC know when such things happen.

Sources said the busy parking lot was auctioned for Rs 2.42 lakh and the tender had been awarded two months ago. The parking lot has a capacity of 100 two-wheelers.

According to BMC guidelines, the parking fee for bicycles and two-wheelers is Re 1 and Rs 2, respectively, and that of four-wheelers and heavy vehicles is Rs 10 and Rs 20, respectively. These fees are for four hours. It is also mandatory for the parking lots to furnish a rate chart and hand out tickets to the customers.

“Every time I came here, the attendants asked for Rs 5 and if we questioned them, they said would say the fees had been increased,” said Girija Das, a student who often visits the mall.

This is not the first time when the BMC had raided a parking lot in the city. On February 1, corporation officials raided the parking lot in front of Adivasi Ground for collecting arbitrary fees during the Adivasi Mela. Police had detained seven persons.

Citizens blame the civic authorities’ inability to provide sufficient parking for the frequent occurrence of such incidents.

“The city is growing in leaps and bounds but has only a handful of parking lots. Civic authorities must ensure sufficient parking lots to curb the mushrooming of illegal ones,” said Prabhat Behera, a senior citizen of Saheed Nagar.

At present, there are 13 parking lots in the city.