Kathmandu, September 24
Going against the government law, unregistered private firms and individuals have been collecting parking fees in a rampant manner from vehicle owners. In fact, such firms and individuals can be seen in and around government offices that witness a large flow of service-seekers like transport offices and land revenue offices.
These aforementioned firms and individuals have been providing fake parking slips and collecting fees, which at times can be exorbitant, from vehicle owners. They do not have any agreement with any government agency for the service and the government meanwhile is also losing out on taxes.
For instance, Anuradha Karna, a two-wheeler owner, had recently gone to the transport office in Ekantakuna of Lalitpur to pay her annual vehicle renewal fee. She says that she had parked her two-wheeler on public land near the office premises and was approached by a person seeking Rs 50 as parking fee. In another similar incident, a man was asked to fork out Rs 200 for parking his car in the area for two hours.
When apprised about the parking fee incidents, Prem Prasad Bhattarai, chief administrative officer at Lalitpur Metropolitian City, said that this was illegal. “We have not noticed this fraud but if this is true, then we will definitely take action against such firms and individuals,” he said, adding that the office will notify the police about it and ask them to take necessary action.
Bhattarai further added that they have not authorised any firm or individual to collect such fees and would charge them under fraud case.
This problem is not limited to Ekantakuna as one can notice vehicle owners having to pay parking fees even in the transport office in Sano Bharyang of Kathmandu.
Meanwhile, Ishwor Man Dangol, spokesperson for Kathmandu Metropolitian City, informed that they have not authorised any firm or individual to collect parking fees in the above mentioned areas. “The only areas that we have assigned authority to any firm to collect parking fee is in the core places of the city like Dharmapath, Khichapokhari, Sundhara, Shukrapath, Pyukha, New Road Pipal Bot, Shankardev Campus, Tridevi Marg (Thamel), Durbar Marg and New Baneshwor.”
“We have heard that some people are collecting parking fees illegally in certain places and we will soon initiate legal action against them,” he stated. Dangol said they are planning to issue a circular that those collecting such parking fees illegally will be penalised.
Earlier, the Kathmandu and Lalitpur metropolitan offices had fixed the parking fees in certain designated areas and the set fee is Rs 25 for a two-wheeler and Rs 80 for a four-wheeler for one hour.
Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general at the Department of Transport Management, said the parking areas and the fees need to be managed by the concerned agencies. “We have not heard of such cases but if they are true then the government needs to take immediate action to stop the malpractice.”
Meanwhile, Hamal added that since the federal government had already transferred the entire authority of transport offices to the provincial governments, it is the duty of the local level governments to manage such things in a legal manner.
A version of this article appears in print on September 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.