Meet the parking mafia

Sep 18, 2011, 04:53 IST | Rinkita Gurav

Government contractors are cheating car owners by charging extra money, not providing receipts and breaking traffic rules by indulging in double lane parking

Are you one of the many, who due to high BMC parking charges and congested double lane parking, prefer to leave your cars at spacious and cheaper mall parkings despite them being a kilometre or two away from your destination?

Be warned that the extra money that parking attendants charge at most BMC car parks and the double lane parking that they allow you are both offences, an SMD check found.

Haphazard parking under the Dadar TT bridge. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

Most government car parks charge Rs 20 as the minimum fee, citing double parking, even though double parking is not permitted.

When 33 year-old Rajesh Salvi (name changed) was asked to shell out Rs 20 for parking his car under the Dadar TT flyover for merely 10 minutes, he was baffled. "I parked my car below the flyover and was back within 10 minutes. The parking attendant asked me for Rs 20 and I suspected foul-play. I know the official parking charges so I confronted him and people around agreed with my argument," said Salvi. He also complained of not receiving any printed parking receipts.

When SMD visited the parking lot, there were no boards with information about the parking charges.

The person handling the parking lot, who claimed to be the contractor, dismissed charges of overcharging and said, "We charge Rs 20 for four wheelers and Rs 5 for two wheelers."

Another worker at the parking lot contradicted him, proving the arbitrary nature of the charges they impose.

"Single lane parking costs Rs 10. We have to pay a fine for parking in double lanes and we make up for that by charging double."

A traffic department official also confirmed that contractors break rules. "They also overcharge without giving any proper receipts," the official said.

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