mid day editorial: Let's make the touts pay for parking

Updated: Jan 30, 2018, 06:19 IST | mid-day correspondent

In an indication about how pervasive this problem is, a report in this paper about a conman running an unauthorised parking facility in SoBo has got widespread reactions

In an indication about how pervasive this problem is, a report in this paper about a conman running an unauthorised parking facility in SoBo has got widespread reactions. The report stated that the parking tout was caught after a businessman filed a complaint saying that the accused charged him for the facility even though it was for free. Post the complaint, the cops acted on an illegal pay-and-park running in the area.

In a creative modus operandi, the tout was in touch with a parking contractor, who had been blacklisted by the BMC. He would collect used parking receipts and then charge car drivers giving them these receipts, though the parking at the spot was free. The report highlights the need for the people to complain and the cops to crack down on many such bogus parking schemes being run across the city. With parking being the great problem it is in space-starved Mumbai, several individuals have cornered land, especially at tourist spots or near office spaces. These have now become organised parking gangs, and many regulars refuse to report them, even when they know that they are being fooled. This is because the gangs operate with impunity and intimidate people. Locals are scared that they will become the target of vengeance in this phenomenon called parking goondaism.

The crooks have been allowed to mushroom for years without any kind of check. Motorists can no longer distinguish between legal and illegal. There is no fixed charge or rate for parking for a certain number of hours. If there is, there are no clearly demarcated boards saying so. This needs police intervention and strict action. Sweeping raids need to be conducted to uproot these 'parking lots' looting people. Crush the touts under the full weight of the law.

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