Saturday, Jun 14, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
by K.V. Subramanya
CONFRONTATION BETWEEN the public and police over towing away vehicles has become regular in Bangalore and the highest number of traffic-related cases booked by the police pertain to parking of vehicles.
Today, the parking problem is not limited to the busy central and business areas of the City. It has spread to residential localities, thanks to the increase in the number of vehicles.
Many localities in the City, which are dotted with small houses, are old revenue areas and have narrow roads. Vehicles, mainly two-wheelers, parked in front of the houses are often taken away by the police on the ground that they hinder traffic. However, no one seems to have a solution to the problem which is aggravating with each passing day.
The problem is compounded by the fact that there are no signboards in many residential areas indicating that the area is a "no-parking zone."
The traffic police have often come under attack for towing away vehicles in an arbitrary manner. For instance, take the case of a software engineer who had parked his vehicle at a parking lot, manned by a Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) contractor, in Gandhi Bazaar. He was issued a receipt by the parking lot attendant after parking his motorcycle. On his return an hour later, he was shocked to find his vehicle "missing." Enquiries revealed that his motorcycle had been towed away, and the police told him that this was done as his vehicle was parked in a no-parking area.
On showing the receipt issued by the parking lot attendant, the police, in an attempt to save their face, told him that he had "wrongly" parked the vehicle in the permitted area. There are many people who have undergone a similar experience.
The main allegation against the police that they tow away vehicles either to make some "quick money" or book cases to achieve the target is not totally false.
Another allegation against the traffic police is that they do not take adequate care while towing away vehicles. If vehicles are damage, their owners do not get compensation for it.
Further, there is no system of the public coming to know about the fate of their vehicles. "I was not aware whether the police had taken away my vehicle or someone had stolen it," says a journalist whose vehicle was towed away by the police in Jayanagar.
On the other hand, though there are certain rules pertaining to the manner in which a vehicle has to be parked in a parking lot, mainly relating to double or parallel parking, people are not aware of them. The lack of awareness has also contributed to the police-public confrontation.
Senior police officers say that people often feel offended when they are either asked to remove their vehicles or when vehicles are towed away by police for traffic rules violation. "People come out with various explanations on such occasions and make baseless charges against us."
"Everyone wants parking space near their place of work or business. If there is no parking place nearby, they park vehicles even in prohibited areas," say the police.
People should park their vehicles in permitted places, even though they may be some distance away from their place of work, and this is the practice in all major cities of the world, senior officers say.
On the damage caused to vehicles when they are being towed away, police say the law is silent on paying compensation. They say that maximum care is taken to see that the vehicle is not damaged.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of