Motorists charged higher parking fees before Kolkata Municipal Corporation starts new rates – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Motorists in the city complained of being forced to pay differential parking fees by some parking attendants. Even the Kolkata Police confirmed they had received a such complaints after KMC had proposed in October a two- to 10-fold rise in parking charges in the city.
“We have got complaints that on Middleton Row, space is apparently reserved for so-called highest bidders on weekends, when ‘premium rates’ are charged. Similar complaints have come from Burrabazar, where regulars are not fleeced but those visiting occasionally targeted. Motorists said they were charged an excess fees of Rs 10-30 per hour. These are rare instances, but we are taking such complaints seriously,” a South division officer said. “No one can charge extra unless notified by the competent authority,” said a Lalbazar officer.

A Tollygunge Swiss Park resident had recently lodged a complaint at the Shakespeare Sarani police station against excess parking fees being charged from him twice-once on Middleton Row and then, on Wood Street-in seven minutes. Cops said they would see whether an extortion charge would be slapped or not.
Police said they had been taking suo motu action on all such complaints. “We are meeting parking vendors regularly and warning them against charging high fees before KMC implements the new parking policy. We have put up parking rate boards. We are also carrying out raids, especially on weekends,” said an officer, adding they had been able to curb fleecing to some extent in central Kolkata.
The KMC in October had proposed a two- to 10-fold hike in parking charges for cars and two-wheelers. The longer a vehicle is parked, the steeper the fees will be. The move will not only ensure a higher revenue for civic coffers but also may lead to parking slots being freed up within limited time, given the high rates are likely to pinch pockets. Civic authorities said it could also discourage people from buying personal vehicles and encourage use of public transport, which would cut down on congestion and air pollution.