Now, car owners intending to have exclusive parking facilities will have to apply to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) instead of getting harassed on a regular basis in the hands of fee collectors who charge arbitrarily and exorbitantly.
Till now, the cooperatives engaged in collecting parking fees used to allot spaces to car owners by taking necessary payments.
The monthly meeting of the Councillors on Thursday passed the proposal to have a parking policy of the KMC. Earlier, the Mayor-in-Council members in their meeting chaired by Mayor Sovan Chatterjee had okayed it.
There was a Public Interest Litigation filed in the High Court by some car owners who had alleged that they could not park their vehicles on different roads though there were vacant spaces lying on the stretches. Now, the KMC will submit its policy to the High Court.
Senior officials said so long it was the responsibility of the cooperatives to collect the fees to allot exclusive spaces to car owners against necessary payments. The car owners enjoyed the facility for a specified time against payment of stipulated fees. But it was found that many cooperatives were arbitrarily allowing owners of vehicles to park their cars on the reserved spaces. Such instances have been noted on Park Street, Mirza Ghalib Street and its neighbourhood.
From now on, the KMC will receive the applications, scrutinise them and then allot spaces to the applicants to park their vehicles for the specified time.
For this, senior officials of KMC will sit with their counterparts in Kolkata Police before allotting such spaces to the applicants.
Senior civic officials said a few unauthorised firms were collecting parking fees from people on roads that were not earmarked as "parking zones". They take money from car owners who do not protest as they get a space to park their vehicles.
The entire Strand Road, opposite Fort William, is used as a parking lot.
Senior police officers said traffic jams in some parts of the city where well-known schools are situated had become a major problem because of unauthorised parking.
Cars are arbitrarily parked on Rawdon Street, Auckland Place, Shakespeare Sarani and Loudon Street and this causes massive traffic congestion on these streets. Similarly, traffic jams on Harish Mukherjee Road, Ritchie Road, a stretch on the Park Street in the morning and afternoon have become a regular feature. Police officers said on humanitarian grounds, no parking boards are put up so that vehicles can drop the school-goers.
"But because of this lenient attitude, there are regular traffic jams on a stretch on AJC Bose Road between the Beckbagan and Sarat Bose Road intersection. To check this, parking of cars on Rawdon Street, Loudon Street and Shakespeare Sarani should be stopped."