Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pay & park to return sans attendants

Pay & park to return sans attendants
By Basavaraj Itnaal, DH News Service, Bangalore:
Pay and park is all set to return. The system which was withdrawn three years ago following complaints of harassment of motorists by parking attendants, is now being introduced in an improved form.

The parking lots on the select roadsides would be metered, eliminating the possibility of attendants demanding any money.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has already passed a resolution to this effect and even fixed the tariff.

The Palike proposal has been accepted by the State government and the scheme would be implemented once the roads are identified for metered parking, sources told Deccan Herald.

Paid parking on the roadside was in vogue in the City since 2000.

In 2005, the City witnessed many ugly incidents and in one case a motorist was killed in a scuffle with a parking attendant at Gandhinagar. In its earlier system, the Palike licensed operators to run paid parking lots for a fee.
The operators then appointed attendants who collected fees from motorists. Due to lack of monitoring, attendants demanded fees as they fancied.

After citizens complained that all the roads in the City had become paid parking lots causing inconvenience, the then mayor R Narayanaswamy decided to withdraw the scheme.

The Palike had written to the government that it would make good the loss in revenue by imposing infrastructure cess and solid waste management cess.

However, the government cancelled the Palike resolution on February 5, 2005, contending that free parking would lead to haphazard parking and vehicles could be stolen.

Free parking
Even as the government had ordered restoration of the paid parking system in early 2005, the popularity of free parking ensured that no politician pushed for its implementation.

In the meantime, associations of traders on Brigade Road and Commercial Street entered into an agreement with the Palike to allow them to run metered parking lots in a user friendly way. This initiative was taken up on a build, operate and transfer basis. The associations were to instal the metering equipment, employ personnel and pay 50 per cent of the daily collections to the Palike. The agreement was for five years after which the equipment would be transferred to BBMP.

The Palike sources said soon a list of roads identified for such metered parking lots would be prepared and these lots would be given only to traders’ associations and not individuals.

27 ROADS TO BE COVERED
The BBMP has identified 27 roads for metered paid parking lots and the list is likely to grow. Palike would
finalise the list soon. However, CMH Road and MG Road will not have metered parking due to the ongoing Metro Rail works.

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