GYAN P NEUPANE
KATHMANDU, June 22: When Raju Bajracharya of Basantapur, Kathmandu couldn’t find any parking lot marked by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) office, he parked his bike along the roadside and entered into the Putalisadak branch of Kumari Bank to seek service. But when he returned back after half an hour, his bike was gone.
The KMC city police team took away his bike for parking in unauthorized area.
“I had parked at the roadside while the KMC parking space was too packed. Other people had also parked their vehicle at the same area. But I couldn’t find my bike,” he told Republica.
He said that he didn’t see the ‘no parking’ mark at the place so he quickly decided to park at the unauthorized parking area.
“Who wants to be fined?” he said. “If the KMC had managed enough parking lots in the area, such incident wouldn’t have happen.”
Later, he went to pay the penalty of Rs 1,000 for releasing his bike from their custody. “I had to pay Rs 1,000 and was engaged for more than two hours to release my bike from the KMC section office at Baidhyakhana inside the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division,” he shared his story. “My whole day’s schedule was disturbed.”
The Kathmanduities have been facing the problem of enough public parking spaces since a long time. The KMC has been working to avoid the parking problem at the roadside since 2003 in the capital.
“The KMC couldn’t find a perfect solution to this problem even as the parking hassles have been increasing speedily,” said Bajracharya, who is a permanent citizen of the Valley.
“People don’t have proper parking facilities even in downtown Kathmandu such as Putalisadak, New Road, Sundhara and also most of the other business areas.”
Bajracharya suggested that the KMC should introduce latest system to manage the miss-managed parking.
“The KMC is only making money by generating revenue from the people like me but isn’t investing for parking,” he added.
Rajendra Devkota, an officer at the KMC section office, Baidhyakhana said that they can punish those who park their vehicles in unauthorized area.
According to an official, the KMC is generating revenue of Rs 1.5 million monthly by confiscating bikes parked in unauthorized areas. Devkota also informed that they can only hold 40 to 50 bikes daily for the punishment.
Chief of KMC’s implementation division, Dhanapati Sapkota, said that the problem is still the same since they started the punishment in 2003.
“Due to heavy population in capital, the parking problem is increasing day by day,” said Sapkota. “The government doesn’t have any plans to reduce the vehicles in the city, which causes parking problem that we are facing currently.”
He argued that the unplanned city structure is the main reason for having parking problem.
He also said that the KMC hasn’t got any proper plan for parking management.
The KMC has marked free parking lots in some of the sites in Kathmandu such as Putalisadak, Jamal, Sundhara, Bagbazar and New Road among others.
In order to ease the parking problem of the core area, the KMC has already finalized plan to develop double-storey underground parking at Khulamanch from its board meeting in the current fiscal year.
First appeared in Republica national daily