Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Govt. yet to approve scrapping of pay-and-park scheme

Govt. yet to approve scrapping of pay-and-park scheme

The Hindu

BANGALORE, MARCH 29. As the State Government is yet to approve the proposal of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to scrap the controversial pay-and-park scheme, the civic body is in a dilemma whether to continue the scheme or not.

Sources said that only two days are left for the proposal to come into effect, and the BMP is yet to terminate contracts and chalk out alternative measures.

But the Bangalore City Vehicle Parking Contractors' Association has decided to voluntarily stop collecting parking fee from April 1. The association secretary, B. Padmanabha, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the association members will stop collecting the fee from April 1 irrespective of whether the BMP terminates their contracts or not.

He said the BMP authorities have not called them for any discussions. "We have to get back our earnest money deposit (EMD) from them. But we do not want to go against the BMP Council's decision. Besides, we are already facing losses ever since the Mayor announced the proposal. If we do not stop collecting parking fee, we will have to face the people's wrath. We will stage a protest against the BMP on Friday," he said.

`For the people'

In January, the Mayor, R. Narayanaswamy, announced the scheme will be "scrapped from April 1 for the benefit of people who cannot afford to pay every time they park their vehicle in parking lots." Although the decision has been included in the BMP budget, which was presented on Monday, the BMP now appears to be confused.Sources said the Bangalore Police Commissioner, S. Mariswamy's objection to scrapping the scheme has complicated maters. Besides, the Principal Secretary (Home), Brahm Dutt, recently wrote to the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, that the pay-and-park scheme should be continued to facilitate smooth traffic.

Sources said the BMP will continue to collect parking fee in all its multi-storey parking complexes and commercial complexes and on Brigade Road and Commercial Street.


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