By Parshotam Bhardwaj
Education Flash/Jammu, Feb 01-15, 2016: The state of Jammu and Kashmir is facing political crisis where people of the state have been taken hostage by politicians who want to run the state on their whims and fancies and in the process putting the governance to back burner.
Even though people now would prefer Governors rule as it seems the administration is working better under the governor but the accessibility of the common man to Raj Bhawan is restricted thus keeping him away from highlighting the problems he faces on a daily basis. One of the major problems that the people of the state particularly Jammuites are facing is the open loot by Parking contractors who have converted into Parking Mafia’s in Jammu.
The parking blues that Jammuites are facing start from small roadside parking places to Railway Stations, Airports, Secretariat, Hospitals and Shopping Malls of the city where parking contractors fleece the vehicle owners as per the situation and the person. In general the parking rates are so high that one wonders whether getting a vehicle to the parking place was a right decision as the parking people charge as per their will with no body to complain.
The recent episode where the Municipal Commissioner was involved in a slap gate is also said to be associated with the parking Mafia as the commissioner had cancelled the parking contract of a contractor who started flexing his muscle at JMC office. The problem is getting murkier as neither JDA nor JMC comes forth to help the hapless people who are charged exorbitant rates by the parking contractors even as the official rate list is thrown to the dustbin.
The Education Flash team went round the city and found that parking contractors were charging more than the printed rates on the parking tickets and sometime double arguing the vehicle was parked for more than the time allotted without even writing the entry time on the tickets.
There were instances where parking people charged Rs 20 from some scooter owners and Rs 10 from those who question their loot, while some even threatened the team members when confronted with facts.
Some parking lots even charge parking fee from the vehicles parked on road near Secretariat under the nose of the traffic police thus exposing the nexus of the mafia with the administration. The Airport is another fleecing ground for the parking contraltos even as the contractor happens to be the Airport Authority itself as printed on the tickets. The vehicles that enter the airport are charged Rs 50/- even if the vehicle drops the passenger and drives out.
Similarly the parking places in GMC Jammu and Railway stations are also major irritants for the people who are in hurry while some Shopping Malls have also started fleecing the customers on the pretext of collecting parking fee and to top it all they also mention that they are not responsible for any theft even as JDA had ordered them to remove such clause.
Even though it is legally binding on the shopping malls to provide the parking space but they have made it another business offshoot by collecting huge parking charges from the customers.
The trend needs to be either stopped or a mechanism developed to keep a tab on the contractors while the best way is to establish a complaint desk where such complaints can by lodged and action taken.
By Parshotam Bhardwaj