Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Parking mafia rip-off dogs Church Street

Parking mafia rip-off dogs Church Street
AKANKSHA MEHROTRA
BENGALURU


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Although the city does not have a pay-andpark system, a parking mafia collects a fee from everyone parking on Church Street in the heart of Bengaluru.
The rip-off is happening right under the nose of the BBMP in the vicinity of Empire Hotel on Church Street. If anyone dares question the `parking attendants', they get aggressive.
The mafia is particularly active late evening and over the weekends. According to one estimate, around Rs 50,000 is illegally collected every day in parking fees on the busy street.

"As soon as we enter the parking area near Empire Hotel, a parking attendant appears asking for a fee," said a city techie, Gopal Krishnan. "When we question him, he argues that the corporation has authorised him to collect the money."

The attendant charges a minimum of Rs 10 for a two-wheeler. Ususally, when a motorist who has paid the money returns, there is another man in his place demanding the fee all over again.

As these so-called attendants are usually drunk, people prefer to pay up rather than get into an argument with them.

"Two-wheeler owners are soft targets at these illegalparking lots," said pub owner Praveen Reddy.

When contacted, BBMP additional zonal commissioner Venkat Raman Naik said no contract had been given for parking in any part of the city, except on Brigade Road and Commercial Street.

"We will take action against anybody found collecting parking fees on Church Street," he added.

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