Andhra Pradesh

Wait for free parking at all malls in Vijayawada to continue

Some malls continue to collect parking fee even though the VMC approached them and offered to waive property tax.  

Motorists visiting certain malls and multiplexes in the city are still being forced to pay the parking fee and this will probably continue till July 22, 2021, when the next hearing of the plea against the district consumer forum’s judgment with the AP State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is scheduled.

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, Vijayawada, in February 2019 fined a multiplex for collecting parking fee from a patron and also asked it not do so citing the government orders and an apex court judgment.

The forum also asked the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) and the Joint Collector to ensure that no parking fee is collected from moviegoers and shoppers.

The VMC was successful in making a couple of multiplexes and malls to provide free parking as it provided exemption in property tax. However, few other malls and shopping complexes continue to collect parking fee even though the VMC approached them and offered to waive property tax.

PVR Limited, a multiplex, which was fined by the forum moved the State Consumer Redressal Commission in April last year. According to Commission proceedings made available on the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum's portal, the counsel on behalf of the multiplex argued that the complaint is not maintainable without impleading the owner of the Ripples Mall that houses the multiplex and that the district forum has misconstrued the Municipal and Urban Development Department’s government order issued in 2007.

Interim order

The commission, in an interim order, suspended the forum's order issued on February 22, 2019, on the condition that 50% of the fine amount is paid to the complainant.

Further hearing of the plea by PVR Limited was recently posted to July 22, 2021, as per the request of the government pleader on behalf of the Joint Collector, Krishna.

Consumer Guidances Society president Ch. Diwakar Babu has said that the malls are collecting park fee even though the civic body came up with an offer in the best interest of the public.

When contacted, VMC Deputy Commissioner (revenue) D. Venkata Lakshmi said, “We have appealed to all the malls and complexes not to collect the fee. Some of them have long ago stopped the practice and are offering free parking for all of their visitors. The issue will be sorted out as per the proceedings of the commission which took up the appeal by the mall.”

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 3:56:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/wait-for-free-parking-at-all-malls-in-vijayawada-to-continue/article33070060.ece

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