KARACHI: The traffic police on Monday informed the Sindh High Court that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, district municipal corporations and cantonment boards were running 124 charged parking spots in the metropolis and 88 of them were on main thoroughfares.
According to the comments filed in court on behalf of the DIG-traffic submitted that the traffic police had repeatedly conveyed its concerns to the Karachi commissioner and other authorities about allotment of charged parking sites on busy roads without consulting them, but to no avail.
The traffic police further submitted that it was always committed to take cognizance against traffic violations and during the current year i.e. from January to Nov 20, a total of 435 charged parking operators had been arrested in 349 FIRs lodged for undue road obstruction caused by double and triple parking.
Traffic police say over 85 of such sites are on main roads
When a two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto took up a petition for hearing against charged parking in the city, the KMC, DMC-South and Karachi traffic police filed comments and documents in compliance with the court’s last order. The bench adjourned the hearing till Jan 17 as lawyers for some other respondents sought time to file replies/comments.
The traffic police in its comments stated that out of 124 parking lots set up on roads and markets of the city, 46 were being run by the KMC, 71 by the DMCs, six by cantonment boards and one parking site is being run by the Civil Aviation Authority on its premises.
Of the 71 sites being run by city’s DMCs, 26 are operated by DMC-South, 25 by DMC-Keamari, 11 by DMC-Central, five by DMC-East and four charged parking sites are operated by DMC-Korangi, it added.
According to the traffic police, charged parking sites have also been set up along almost all the major roads of the city including Sharea Faisal, M. A. Jinnah Road, Rashid Minas Road, Tariq Road, University Road, Shahrah-i-Iraq, Shahra-i-Liaquat, Abdullah Haroon Road, Stadium Road, Saheed-i-Millat Road and Khalid Bin Walid Road.
The KMC in its comments maintained that it was authorised to charge parking fees on the roads it maintained under the Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA), 2013.
However, the documents attached with the comments of the KMC stated that the then administrator on the request of Karachi commissioner had granted permission in October 2000 to set up charged parking on 65 sites including main roads and markets of the city under the KMC by-laws of 1975.
The DMC-South in its reply also argued that it was empowered to collect the parking fees under the SLGA, by-laws and auction collection rights 2016.
On the last hearing, the SHC had directed the KMC, DIG-traffic, DMCs and other respondents to file comments and also assist it whether there was any structure available to regulate charged parking in the metropolis.
The bench had also asked the authorities concerned under which law parking fee was being charged from the citizens and who had authorised vehicles’ parking on roads.
A citizen had filed a petition stating that the Supreme Court had clearly restrained the authorities concerned from charging fee on the pretext of parking, but the respondents were still charging such a fee in different parts of the city in violation of the apex court’s order.
Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2021