BMC slaps hefty parking fines but serves ‘chalu’ receipts

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started cracking down on illegally parked vehicles and slapping steep fines since July 7.

However, in a recent incident, when a G South ward official challaned a four-wheeler for parking his vehicle in a no-parking zone, the driver got a handwritten, 'chalu' receipt on a sheet from a single-line notebook for the Rs 7,500 he shelled out as a fine.

On August 17, the driver of a four-wheeler was fined Rs 7,500 for parking his vehicle on the road, which is a violation according to the BMC's new rule.

After paying a fine of Rs 7,500, the driver was given a 'chalu' receipt instead of the original. He was asked to approach the ward office to obtain the original receipt within the next two days.

When The Free Press Journal spoke to the driver, he said he was fined for parking near Century Bazaar, Prabhadevi. He claims he did not knowing it was a no-parking zone.

“I parked the vehicle near Century Bazaar but did not see any no-parking sign there. Since it was Sunday and there was not much traffic, I parked the car and went to lunch.

When I returned, I saw the wheels of my car were locked. I then went to the ward office, where they told me I had parked my car in a no-parking zone and so I would have to pay a fine of Rs 7,500.

It was a big amount but I somehow arranged the money and paid the fine but the officer gave me a 'chalu' reciept instead of the original,” said the driver.

Repeated calls and messages to the assistant commissioner G South, Devendra Kumar Jain, failed to elicit a response on Monday. Meanwhile, some vehicle owners who paid the fine for parking violation said,

"If they can fine us so steeply, can't we expect an official receipt on the spot? Why do they ask us to come on another day to collect the original one? We are forced to waste another day to do so. Traffic cops give original receipts on the spot."

The leader of the opposition in the BMC, Ravi Raja, said this showed the irresponsibility of the authority and how they took citizens for granted. This shows they are not prepared to enforce the new parking rule but are busy collecting heavy fines.

“The authority is not equipped with the essentials before implementing fines. They are just cheating citizens by slapping them with hefty fines and not even giving them the original receipt, which it is the citizen's right to receive,” said Raja.

“If a person is fined in South Mumbai and he is from Borivli or Dahisar, why would he come another day to collect the original receipt? If he does not come to collect the original reciept, what about the fine amount, into whose pocket will it go?” questioned Raja.

By Vikas Nag