Bangalore, October 12: Have you ever wondered why you are paying parking fee when the city corporation is yet to implement the pay-and-park system? Who are the men who ask you to pay the fee for parking your vehicle in an area where parking is legal and free?
Several hapless motorists across the city end up paying parking fee to these illegal operators. Though the city police have warned people against illegal collection of parking fee, such collection by illegal operators seems to be going on unabated.
When The Hindu team visited a few commercial areas across the city on Friday, “agents” were found manning public spaces where parking is allowed. They, not just extort parking fee from motorists, but also demand extra money if they (motorists) have parked beyond the stipulated time. Neither do the agents give a receipt nor do they identify themselves.
They found that fee collected ranged between Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 per hour for two-wheeler parking and about Rs. 20 per hour for four-wheelers. The fee increases randomly during weekends. Efforts to speak to the agents went in vain as most of them refused to reply.
Chandrakanth, an employee in a real estate firm, who had parked a motorcycle on Church Street, was approached by an agent. Flatly refusing to pay any parking fee, he asked the agent to show his identity card. “My office is on Church Street and whenever I park my vehicle, they demand money. Though I pay, I am clearly displeased with this,” he said.
Naveen R., a two-wheeler rider on Church Street, said these agents magically disappear when police personnel come on their rounds. They demand money as if they are entitled to it and was common on M.G. Road and Museum Road as well, he pointed out.
The situation is not very different in other parts of the city. Hemant Kumar, a student of Vijaya College, said he spends Rs. 40 a week for parking. “This is an unnecessary expenditure.”