Staff Reporter

Authorities said to be considering its reimposition after the elections.

BERHAMPUR: The Berhampur municipal corporation decided stop collection of parking fee from parked vehicles at SNT road and Girija square from Tuesday.

This decision was taken on Monday to avoid any political tension over the issue during the visit of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the city for election campaign on Tuesday. Six merchants’ associations of the city had opposed sudden imposition of parking fees in this area by the municipal corporation. Last week they had held demonstration against it. The merchants’ association had threatened to hold demonstration against the imposition of parking fee during the road show of the Chief Minister and BJD supremo in the city.

Outweighed by political compulsions, the BJD-led Municipal Corporation had to stop the parking fees collection from this crowded market place. The BJD did not want its political ambitions hampered in this tussle between the municipal corporation and the traders. The Berhampur Municipal Corporation is led by the BJD Mayor, Siba Shankar Dash and the sitting MLA of the city is R.C.C.Patnaik of the BJD. Added to it the city happens to be part of the home district of Mr Naveen Patnaik.

It may be noted that the Berhampur MLA had also opposed the imposition of parking fees in the area by the municipal corporation. So, the decision had started to create crack in the city unit of the BJD. So, the higher-ups in the BJD did not want the issue to aggravate to become a major issue during elections.

The secretary of the SNT Road merchants’ association, Satya Rao described this rollback decision by the municipal corporation as a victory of united efforts of general public and traders. Meanwhile the municipal authorities have removed the sign boards placed in the area for the collection of parking fees. But as per the municipal authorities after the elections they would again discuss imposition of parking fees in different areas of the city. But the traders who had united against it said they would not let re-imposition of parking fees again in their area.