GMC Allots 47 New Parking Lots In The City
• GMC has recently allotted 47 new roadside parking lots in Guwahati
• General elections delayed the tender process for leasing parking lots
• These will remain valid till March 31, 2020
• Most of the parking lots are roadside city parking areas
• Four are located under the flyovers on the stretch of GS Road
• These include, Bhangagarh, Ganeshguri, Ulubari and Six Mile
• Guwahatians have complained of unauthorised parking fee collectors
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has recently allotted 47 new roadside parking lots for the year 2019-20. The officials feel that this would help in managing the increasing traffic in the city.
Every year, the process of allotment of parking lots by the GMC is complete by the end of March. However, authorities informed that this year the tender process to lease out the parking lots was postponed due to the Lok Sabha elections which were held in April in the state.
The civic body leases the lots from April 1 which remains valid till March 31.
“This year, we had opened the tenders in June and started the process of allotting the parking by July,” an office assistant at GMC, Anishur Rahman, informed G Plus.
He added that they had floated the tenders for a total of 50 parking lots in the city, out of which three remain to be allotted. These include the ones in Pandu Port Road, Betkuchi wholesale fish market and on the GS Road.
Authorities said that they had allotted 45 parking lots during the previous year (2018-19).
A majority of the newly-allotted parking lots are roadside city parking in different areas of the city. Some of these are located along the GS Road, Maligaon, AT Road, Paltan Bazar, and GNB Road among others.
Apart from these, there are four parkings which have been allotted under the flyovers on the stretch of the GS Road. These include, Bhangagarh, Ganeshguri, Ulubari and Six Mile.
The current parking fee as set by the GMC is Rs 5 for the first two hours for two-wheelers and Rs 5 is added for every subsequent hour thereafter. For the four-wheelers it is Rs 10 for the first two hours and Rs 5 per hour is added for the subsequent hours.
GMC officials mentioned that each year they usually increase the parking fee by a marginal 5-10 per cent but they have not done so this year.
Traffic congestion and haphazard parking has been one of the major causes of concern for Guwahatians for a long time now.
Unauthorized parking collectors sans uniforms sprout
There have been a few reports of unauthorised persons illegally collecting parking fees at various areas from the motorists. Some complaints have also surfaced that these persons also charge the motorists arbitrarily or according to their whims.
“I have been charged Rs 40 for parking my car for around two hours on the GS Road, whereas the actual amount should not exceed Rs 25,” said Dhrubajyoti Bora, a Guwahati resident.
A few Guwahatians have also informed that these unauthorised persons do not even issue a proper receipt.
“Earlier I used to see some GMC parking attendants wearing uniforms, but now there are hardly any attendants who wear uniforms, making it difficult to distinguish between authorised persons and those collecting fees illegally,” Diganta Sharma, a city resident told G Plus.
On being asked about the uniform for parking attendants, the GMC officials said that they have not received the supply of uniforms for the past three years. They, however, mentioned that those who take the parking lots on lease sometimes provide the parking attendants with a uniform or caps.
“A meeting in this regard is going to be held and a decision could be taken to introduce the uniforms from next year onwards,” said office assistant at GMC, Anishur Rahman.
Authorities also mentioned that they, too, have received complaints from motorists related to overcharging of parking fees on roadside parking or illegal charging of parking fees. Speaking on the same GMC authorities informed that based on the complaints received, they take the necessary action required.
“Upon receiving the information, our enforcement teams reach the spot and conduct an enquiry. If someone authorised by the GMC is found to be carrying out unscrupulous activity like overcharging, we give them a warning as the first step,” said a GMC official.
On the other hand, a few parking areas under the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) remain underutilised in the city.
For instance, the multi-level automated car parking facility situated in the middle of the city’s Zoo Road area continues to wear a deserted look as people are unwilling to park their cars inside the facility. The facility, which is located near Sraddhanjali Kanan on RG Baruah Road, is the first multi-level automated car parking facility not only in Assam but also in northeast.
Built with an investment of Rs 14.38 crores, the parking facility can accommodate 302 four-wheeler vehicles and 25 two-wheeler vehicles at a time.
However, even after nearly two years of its inauguration, the facility is hardly being used by the locals.
G Plus had earlier reported that GMDA officials feel that this is because people do not want to change their lifestyle by welcoming a high-level facility.