Tuesday February 07, 2023

SHC questions charged parking fee collection in Karachi

October 07, 2021
SHC questions charged parking fee collection in Karachi

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed all the administrators of the district municipal corporations (DMCs) of Karachi as well as the traffic police chief to file their comments about the structure, if any, available to regulate charged parking in Karachi.

Hearing a petition against the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and the DMCs being involved in charged parking on various roads of the city, an SHC division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro took exception to collecting parking fees through private contractors in the name of the KMC and the DMCs.

The court asked the provincial law officer under which law parking fees were being collected, and said that people were being extorted in the name of charged parking, while on several occasion the private contractors had misbehaved with the citizens.

The bench said that motorists had to face extreme traffic jams due to parking on both sides of the roads, and asked the representative of the commissioner’s office if there were any criteria or rules for collecting parking fees.

The representative said that there was no law about collecting parking fees, but it was being collected for the roads’ maintenance and repairs. He said the commissioner’s office had nothing to do with levying the tax on the parking fees, which was confirmed by the KMC’s counsel.

The court said that most of the streets in the city were in dilapidated conditions, so where was the money meant for repairing the roads being spent, adding that if the practice continued, the people would be forced to pay fees for parking their vehicles outside their houses.

The counsel for the director charged parking and district charged parking sought time to file comments and assist the court on the points involved in the petition.

The bench issued notices to all the administrators of the DMCs and the traffic police chief to file their comments on the petition, ordering them to assist the court about the structure, if any, available to regulate charged parking in the city.

Petitioner Khursheed Ahmed Khan had moved the court for taking action against charged parking fee collectors in violation of the Supreme Court’s orders. He said the SC had issued clear directions on the issue, but private contractors were collecting parking fees on different roads of the city.

He requested the court to direct the National Accountability Bureau to conduct an inquiry into the collection of charged parking fees in the city by private contactors, and recover the money collected in the past several years.

It is pertinent to mention here that another bench of the SHC had earlier restrained the cantonment boards in the city or any other authority thereunder from collecting parking fees in their respective jurisdictions until further orders.