Parking fee hike ‘on hold’ till polls

Boards with the old rates are still on display in almost all parking zones but none with the new rates have been put up anywhere

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 8.04.19, 2:26 AM
  • Updated 8.04.19, 2:26 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The old rate chart on display in the Park Street area. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Parking attendants, often accused of fleecing vehicle owners and charging more than the stipulated rates, are now in a fix over whether to collect the recently hiked fees or the previous one.

Corporation sources said some members of the Trinamul-controlled civic body do not want the revised rates to be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections. Several parking attendants confirmed they had received similar instructions.

Boards with the old rates are still on display in almost all parking zones but none with the new rates have been put up anywhere.

Metro had reported on Sunday that the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has, for the first time in a decade, revised daytime parking rates from April 1. The fee for parking four-wheelers is now Rs 20 per hour, up from Rs 10, and that for two-wheelers is Rs 10 an hour, up from Rs 5.

Jagadish Chowdhury of Pioneer Fee Car Parking Cooperative said parking attendants are not asking for the new rates yet.

Joy Chandra of Gitanjali Fee Car Parking Society said the civic authorities have asked them to not to implement the new rates. “We don’t mind charging the new rates, but the civic authorities have asked us not to do so till the Lok Sabha elections are over,” said Chandra.

Car owners parking on Camac Street and Park Street are still being charged according to the old rate chart. “We have not got the new rate chart though we have heard the fees have been hiked,” a parking attendant on Park Street said.

The parking attendants on Elgin Road, Lee Road and Allenby Road, however, are going by the new rates. They are carrying with them a photocopy of the page from the CMC website where the new rates have been uploaded and showing it to car owners.

Mayoral council member Debashis Kumar said the new rates would be implemented once the handheld devices used by parking attendants and the CMC’s parking app are upgraded.

“A budget approval was required to raise the rates. The decision to hike parking rates was passed along with the budget for 2019-20. But we are not charging the fee immediately because the car parking mobile app and the handheld devices that calculate the fee have to be updated,” Kumar said on Sunday. “We will not charge the new rates at least till the end of the elections.”

Till then, confusion reigns among motorists.