In Bengaluru's Attiguppe, Metro users brawl to avoid paid parking

Most commuters who parked here and boarded the train have shifted their vehicles to the roads around the station.
Vehicles parked haphazardly near Attiguppe Metro Station | SHRIRAM BN
Vehicles parked haphazardly near Attiguppe Metro Station | SHRIRAM BN

BENGALURU: Despite no fee being collected for parking at Attiguppe Metro station, a board announcing specific charges for different hours at the parking lot here has ensured that few vehicles are found now at this once jampacked spot. Most commuters who parked here and boarded the train have shifted their vehicles to the roads around the station. While the problem of Metro users parking haphazardly on streets around the station existed ever since the launch of the Magadi Road-Mysuru Road stretch of the Purple Line on November 16, 2015, it has aggravated now as commuters go all out to avoid being charged for parking.    

According to the few users of the parking lot, a notice Board bearing the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited logo came up nearly a month ago but barring a couple of days initially no charges had been collected. B Smitha, an engineering student was spotted locking her vehicle at this parking lot. “I have been using the parking here regularly for a week but no one has ever asked me to pay,” she says. “If anyone asks me to pay, then I will park my vehicle on a nearby road like most people do,” she adds. 

M Raghavendra, a Central government employee, says, “I came here a fortnight ago to park my vehicle and panicked when I saw the fee board at the spot where I have always parked for free. I cannot spend `30 just for one-day parking. Since then, I started taking the bus from my house to the Metro station or park my vehicle on any street where space is available.” Rani Gowda, a bank employee, says, “I have paid `30 once sometime ago. I am so glad that the fee is not being collected anymore.”

Residents, commuters caught in a stand-off
The tension between home and office owners in the surrounding areas of the Metro station on one side and commuters is simmering and often comes to a boil in the mornings. No parking’ posters outside houses are never respected. Retired LIC official Sarala Rao, a resident on Ist F Cross, Off Chord Road, is one of the irate house owners. “Every morning begins with a fight with someone who is trying to park a vehicle outside my house. There is no space even for our own vehicles. Employees in the office above my house travel 1 km away and park their vehicles. I kept on telling people not to do so but have given up now.” 

Patients visiting the Mallige Child Care Centre nearby suffer enormously. Raghavendra, a lab technologist here, says that before 9 am, vehicles are parked all around the hospital with patients coming in vehicles or staff not having any space. “No one knows whose vehicle it is and they are taken late at night only. If you find someone parking here and talk to him or her, they are very rude.” He relates an incident two days ago when a woman employee in an office nearby had a 40-minute argument over people parking outside their firm. 

Nagaraj, a clothes presser, speaks of how vehicles block his shop fully making it tough for customers to reach him. “If I tell people not to park here, the standard response is that this is a public road and no one owns it,” he says. 

Metro, BBMP  in talks
Asked about the parking problems at Attiguppe, BMRCL General Manager (Finance and Taxation) U A Vasanth Rao said the licence for a parking contractor at Attiguppe had been issued already. “However, BBMP has taken some objection over the land. We are in correspondence with the BBMP to sort out the issues and commence parking.”

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