The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), other municipal corporations and the traffic police to take action against illegal parking at various places of the city, especially in District South.
Hearing petitions against illegal charged parking in different areas of the city, a division bench of the high court headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi was informed by the petitioner that illegal parking were being allowed at various places of the district.
Filing a statement before the court, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that charged parking mafias with support of the traffic police and local district administration were running illegal sites of parking in various sites of District South.
He submitted that illegal parking mafias allowed parking on two or three lanes at public places due to which the flow of traffic is badly affected. He placed on record details of 33 spots of illegal parking in District South, including Saddar, Zainab Market, Akbar Road, Boulton Market, Gulf Market, Abdullah Haroon Road, Medicine Market, Karachi Press Club, Ocean Mall Clifton, Naz Plaza computer market, Bohri Bazaar, Star City Mall and II Chundrigar Road.
The traffic police also filed comments mentioning that the contracts of charged parking were granted by civic agencies like the KMC and cantonment boards.
A traffic police official submitted that the traffic police had raised the issue in several meetings suggesting that the traffic police should be taken on board before allowing charged parking contracts in order to avoid traffic problems due to insufficient road width, high volume of vehicular traffic and double and haphazard parking.
After taking the comments and report of the petitioner on record, the bench observed that it was expected that the KMC and other respondents would do needful to address the issue.
The high court directed that action be taken against illegal parking in the areas as pointed by the petitioner and sought a compliance report.
It is pertinent to mention that the SHC had earlier ordered the KMC and traffic police to ensure that no unauthorised charged parking was allowed in the city. The SHC also observed that appropriate action should be taken against violators of traffic laws.
The petitioners had moved the court for taking action against persons collecting parking fees in violation of the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders in this regard. They had maintained that the SC had issued clear directions on the issue, but private contractors were collecting parking fees on different roads of the city. They alleged that private contractors with connivance of the KMC and DMC officials were charging exorbitant fee for parking of motorcycle and cars by declaring every road and street of the city as charged parking area.
They requested the high court to direct the authorities to conduct an inquiry into the collection of parking fees by private contractors, and recover the money collected in the past several years.
Earlier, another bench of the SHC had restrained the cantonment boards in the city or any other authority thereunder from collecting parking fees in their jurisdictions until further orders.