17 October 2019
Bhubaneswar: News which spread like wildfire on Wednesday was Bhubaneswar Development Authority's announcement on parking charges in commercial establishments, shopping malls and hospitals. The BDA announced that levying parking fees from the public in these establishments is illegal and warned stern action if the stakeholders did not comply.
However, when OMMCOM NEWS team contacted private security personnel and parking lot staffers of a couple of malls in the Capital City, their body language reflected non-compliance. Most of the malls here in Bhubaneswar continue to levy parking charges for vehicles which are parked in the basements, and stated that they would continue with the practice.
The BDA in circular on Wednesday stated, “It has come to the notice of BDA that different shopping malls, multiplexes and apartments are imposing parking charges. This is not consistent with the provisions of the BDA (P&BS) regulations as well as the approved building plan. The developers/owners are hereby directed to stop the illegal practice of charging of parking fees from the visitors, immediately.”
Blatantly violating this rule, the malls in Bhubaneswar continue to collect money for parking justifying it to be ‘facilitation charge’. “This is not a parking fee. This is the facilitation charge which we collect from people who use the premises for parking vehicles. Their vehicles are under supervision of trained personnel and moreover there is no time restriction, as other designated parking lots,” the supervisor of a shopping mall said.
The development authority has directed to all property owners to abide by the mandatory off-street parking provisions in the approved building plan and any deviations in the parking provisions shall be restored by the property owners as per the provisions of approved building plan within 30 days from the date of issue of this notice.
Housing and Urban Development Department Minister, Pratap Jena said special squads will be formed to curb illegal parking along shopping malls and roads.
“Those shopping malls having their own parking space cannot charge parking fees from customers. They are not allowed to collect fees if the parking spaces are located outside their malls. Only the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will collect the fees at designated sites allotted for parking,” the Minister said today.