S Kolkata residents give a jolt to KMC's drive to end illegal parking
KOLKATA: Residents of Purnadas Road gave a jolt to Kolkata Municipal Corporation's drive to curb illegal car parking on the streets at night.
The car owners from the South Kolkata locality refused to allow the KMC officials from clamping their illegally parked vehicles on Wednesday night.
In general, errant owners have to pay Rs 1,000 on-the-spot-fine to free their confiscated vehicles.
They also have the option of paying the fine the next morning to free the cars. The annual charge levied by KMC for night parking on the streets is a minimal Rs 4,800.
According to senior civic officials, illegal night parking is a menace that KMC has pledged to eliminate in the city.
A meeting presided by Mayor Sovan Chatterjee with his Mayor-in-Council, about six months back, led to the decision of conducting multiple raids at night to nab errant car owners.
These drives are jointly conducted by the Kolkata Police and KMC. The civic authorities have also decided to allow cars to be parked in the narrow lanes at night.
The official said: "Many apartments constructed between 1985 and 2000 have converted the ground floor parking area into shops thereby forcing the residents to park their vehicles on the streets at night.
Moreover, in apartments with available parking areas, many residents with more than one car choose to park their second on the streets at night. Sometimes cars worth over a crore are found illegally parked on the streets."
The officials maintained that many buses and mini buses which are parked on the streets pay a parking fee to the KMC. However, these car owners prefer to park for free.
"We have tried putting KMC stickers on the windscreen on these vehicles stating that we charge only Rs 400 per month. But there are some owners who are not ready to pay this fee," said the official.