BENGALURU: Bengalureans have always faced problems when trying to find parking spots in and around the Central Business District areas such as MG Road, Brigade Road and Church Street.
This has given an opportunity for those wishing to make a fast buck preying on hapless vehicle owners, who can often be seen taking endless circuits in search of a parking spot.
A case in point is Church Street. Even as the two wheeler parking space at Church Street is open to all, there are people who extort ‘parking fee’ from the public.
City Express visited the spot and the ‘parking fee collectors’ asked Rs 20 as parking charge. When we questioned them asking why should we pay to park a bike at a public place, we were met with lies and a quiet threat. “We are authorized to collect money from everyone,” said the collector, adding “if you need to park your bike pay the money or get lost.” When City Express tried to ask more questions, the fee collector raised his voice and threatened this reporter.
The commuters are upset about the loot.
“Why does one need to pay money for parking in a public space? Even when we give the fee there is no receipt. Are these people even authorized to collect the fee?” asks Praveen Raj a BPO employee. Amit Kumar, an engineering student says, “I just wanted to park my bike for 15 minutes as I need to visit an office nearby and I was asked to pay up. Nobody is there to question this burglary, If I do raise my voice, these ‘goons’ will bring trouble for me.”
Even cops in the area don’t question the illegal activity. “There are traffic cops in this street most of the time to fine the commuters who park the bikes in ‘No Parking’ zones,” says Shravan Kumar, a software professional.
City Express found boards to warn against the illegal parking fee collectors, which also gave the contact of the police control room. Unfortunately the numbers were erased by miscreants.