Monday, January 26, 2009

Mixed reactions to parking fee at Lalbagh

Mixed reactions to parking fee at Lalbagh

Deepika Arwind

The package is a lump sum Rs. 200 for a car

— Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

The Rs. 200 ticket for parking a car inside Lalbagh in Bangalore.

Bangalore: There were mixed reactions to the parking policy at the Republic Day Flower Show at Lalbagh on Sunday.

All two-wheelers that were parked inside Lalbagh paid nominal parking charges of Rs. 5 or Rs. 10 for parking inside the park. Those in cars, irrespective of the number of people, were to pay a lump sum of Rs. 200, which included the entry fee, working out to Rs. 40 per adult and Rs. 10 for children aged less than 12.

“It is not fair for those two or three people who just want to watch the Flower Show and end up paying so much,” said Somnath Desai, who had come with his wife to watch the show. But another visitor said, “I don’t mind paying as long there is a place to park — I would have paid Rs. 120 otherwise. Paying Rs. 80 more for a good two hours is worth it, especially as they let cars go in without any trouble.”

For those who wanted to save on the parking fee, a stretch of Double Road was available to them for free parking where twice the usual number of Traffic Police personnel were deployed, according to sources in the Horticulture Department.

When contacted, Director of Horticulture G.K. Vasanth Kumar said: “In the view of security — not just the Mumbai attacks, but also the one on IISc — we decided to depute the Law and Order Police as well as the Traffic Police.”

He said that the parking fee had been decided keeping people’s convenience in mind. “Many people told us that they would rather enter quickly than be held up at the gate so we created this lump sum package,” he said.

“If a bus with 50 people enters, we charge them Rs. 1,300 on a Sunday but it can enter without the passengers having to go through the formality of a headcount,” he added.

However, most people described paying a flat Rs. 200 to park their cars inside as unfair. “I would rather park on Double Road and walk, because one ends up walking even inside Lalbagh any way,” said Sunil Menon.


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