Parking space in shops comes for a fee when it should be free

Making an explicit violation of the terms and conditions in the Kerala Municipal Building Act, commercial establishments in the city are pocketing money more and more by imposing parking fee on their customers.

The practice is continuing unchecked at a time when the building owners are legally bound to provide the required parking space to their clients as agreed in the approved building plan.

Though some of the large scale traders and malls offer the parking space free of cost or through a reimbursement method after the purchase, some of the medium retailers jointly operate a common space within their shopping complex as parking facility and assign someone to collect the fee.

Many a time, people who come to the area just to make enquires are also compelled to open their wallet against the frowning face of the security men. The issue is likely to be taken up by some of the youth organisations in the city. Some o them have already communicated their dissent to the traders. Democratic Youth Federation of India leaders, who recently convened a meeting to discuss the issue, have made it clear that it is an open violation of municipal rules and cannot be tolerated.

What aggravate most of the customers is the “poor responsibility” on the part of the paid parking service providers.

“Though they may issue slips marking the vehicle number and time devotedly, there is no surety that they will pay for our vehicle’s damage or any other type of loss,” says Ramjith Mohanan, a city resident who often makes use of the ‘service’.

He also points out that there are several occasions when owners find fresh scratches on their vehicles while taking them back from the parking lot.

According to leaders of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti (KVVES), the practice is not at all endorsed and encouraged by their forum in any part of the State. They also assert that it is “unfair and a violation of the existing trade rules.”

“It is basically the responsibility of the trader concerned to provide the required parking space for his clients free of cost. While beginning a commercial venture, he has to ensure the facility and offer it in a convenient way to the customers,” says T. Nazirudheen, State president of KVVES.

He also affirms that the issue will be discussed at their next general body meeting and a proper direction to the merchant fraternity will be given to resolve the dispute.

According to the officials from the Town Planning Department, only firms that have obtained a valid licence from the Corporation will be able to run paid parking facility. Making money from unlicensed parking space is unlawful and could lead to closure after proper checking process, they add.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 3:02:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/parking-space-in-shops-comes-for-a-fee-when-it-should-be-free/article4662936.ece

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