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Public opinion divided on ‘Pay and Park’ proposal

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The Hindu         10.11.2014 

Public opinion divided on ‘Pay and Park’ proposal

The six-hour rule is unfair, say some residents while many welcome the proposal

The introduction of 'pay and park' system is expected to regulate two-wheeler parking in the shopping areas of Tiruchi.— PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM
The introduction of 'pay and park' system is expected to regulate two-wheeler parking in the shopping areas of Tiruchi.— PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM

Even as the Tiruchirappalli City Corporation decided to implement the “pay and park” system for private vehicles in a few places of the city, it has evoked mixed reaction from the people.

Though the system is in force at the Central Bus Stand, where a shelter has been provided to park two-wheelers, it is for the first time that the corporation has come out with a plan to collect fee for parking two-wheelers in open spaces.

As per the proposal, which was approved by the council members at a recent meeting, the fee is to be levied for vehicles parked on Thillai Nagar Main Road, Shastry Road, and Fort Station Road, all in Thillai Nagar, and E.V.R. Road-Vayalur Road near Puthur.

It plans to levy a fee of Rs. 3 for two-wheelers, Rs. 5 for four-wheelers such as cars and vans, and Rs. 10 for buses. The users will have to pay again if the parking period goes past 6-hours. It is aimed at raising Rs. 22 lakh a year through the levy of parking fee on roads.

However, there is no clear information on whether the corporation will provide shelter to the notified parking lots or not. Similarly, there is no clarity on who will collect the fee, whether it will employ its own employees or auction it to private players.

While a section of people and road users welcomed the move, there are differing voices too. However, they are united on the demand that basic facilities, particularly a shed, should be provided at the lots.

“I personally welcome the move as it can regulate haphazard parking of vehicles on arterial roads and congested areas. But the motive should not be solely on generating revenue. The corporation should make it a model system by incorporating best practices,” says J. Madan Mohan of Cantonment.

He added that the corporation should carry out a detailed study at commercial zones, including Theppakulam, N.S.B. Road, Singarathope, and so on. Suitable locations should be identified. Pay and park system should be implemented in less traffic zones.

However, many are of the view that it is wrong on the part of TCC to levy parking fee when it doesn’t have parking policy. They say that notification on levying parking fee looks fanciful as there is no proper infrastructure in place. Some users point out the massive disparity in the parking fee collected at the central bus stand and the proposed fee for parking at open places. “The fee collected at central bus stand for parking is applicable for 24 hours. But levy at open places is applicable for just 6 hours. It is unfair,” says Santhanam of Ammayapillai Nagar.