KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the district municipal corporations (DMCs) of the city to file entire record about the tendering process of parking fees as they failed to produce any notification regarding parking rates.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro also ordered action against illegal collection of parking fee and directed the inspector general of police and advocate general to come up with compliance reports on Jan 31.
The court was informed that the provincial authorities were going to launch a campaign from Tuesday in the metropolis against illegal parking fees collection.
Court asks DMCs to furnish tendering record, notification about fixing parking rates
When the bench took up a petition against charged parking in the city for hearing, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and DMC-Keamari submitted comments and copies were provided to the petitioner.
The bench put certain questions to the lawyers for DMCs about charged parking and they stated that Section 96 of Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 had authorised respective councils to levy fees on account of vehicles’ parking.
However, the bench in its order said that none of the DMCs were able to furnish any notification regarding rates of vehicles’ parking or the areas designated for charged parking.
“Further they were directed to submit the relevant documents showing the process of tendering of the parking fee or the fact if KMC or a Council is collecting the fee itself. If tendering was done to award contract of parking fees to the contractors, the papers relating to the same shall also be produced in the court,” the court order added.
An assistant advocate general informed the bench that a drive would be launched from Tuesday (today) to curb illegal collection of parking fees in the provincial metropolis from the areas not designated for such a purpose and a progress report would be submitted before the next date of hearing.
Adjourning the hearing till Jan 31, the bench directed its office to send a copy of its order to the advocate general and IGP-Sindh for appearance and compliance.
The KMC in its comments submitted that it had advertised the auction of KMC-designated charged parking areas last year and there were 33 such areas within the jurisdiction of KMC including 16 located in district East, nine in South, seven in Central and one in Korangi district.
The DMC-Keamari submitted that it was legally empowered to charge “parking fee on road” under Section 96 of SLGA 2013, but it had neither established any charged parking in its jurisdiction nor attempted to recover such a fee from vehicle owners.
On the last hearing, the traffic police had informed the SHC that the KMC, DMCs and cantonment boards were running 124 charged parking spaces and 88 of them were on main thoroughfares.
The comments filed on behalf of DIG-Traffic further submitted that the traffic police had repeatedly conveyed its concerns to the Karachi commissioner and other authorities concerned about allotment of charged parking sites on busy roads without consulting traffic police, but to no avail.
The comments had further said that out of 124 parking lots set up on roads and markets of the city, 46 were being run by the KMC, 71 by DMCs, six by cantonment boards and one parking site was run by the Civil Aviation Authority on its premises.
A citizen had filed a petition last year 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 levy in different parts of the city in violation of apex court order.
Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2022