statesman news service
KOLKATA, 1 JUNE: Cars are parked illegally on Strand Road between Princep ghat and Babu ghat everyday in connivance with some youths allegedly backed by some Trinamul Congress leaders.
Some youths in uniforms collect parking fees from car owners. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities have written to the city police to round up the youths involved in collecting parking fees illegally. Advertisements will also be published in newspapers asking car owners not to pay the parking fees.
From Monday to Friday many car owners who have their offices in areas surrounding BBD Bag and its neighbourhood park their vehicles in the area, senior civic officials said. Most of the cars are driven by chauffeurs who pick up the owners when contacted on their cell phones in the evening.
In case of owner driven cars, the youths look after the vehicles. Most of the cars leave the area by 6.30 p. m. On Saturdays and Sundays revellers visiting the area park their vehicles.
When this correspondent posing as one intending to park his car in the area contacted these local youths, they said the charge would be anything around Rs 50 per day. This comes to Rs 1,500 per month. They also alleged police take Rs 20 per car per day from them. Without naming any Trinamul Congress leader one of them said, "We have a party leader behind us and no one can do us any harm."
They take Rs 100 from buses that come from other states with tourists.
Some car owners who park their vehicles in the area said they did not know that parking was not allowed in the area. Senior police officers said they would soon impose a ban on car parking along Strand Road. A senior police officer said, "Some people close to senior bureaucrats and ministers park their cars along the stretch and they have take action tactfully."