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Mushrooming public vehicle parks: Reduce parking levy, say vehicle owners


Public vehicle parks are in plenty around the city of Colombo. The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has categorised them as off street and on street vehicle parks. Off street vehicle parks are generally large and located several metres away from the main road, while on street vehicle parks are located in close proximity to main roads.

According to the CMC, nearly 3,000 off street vehicle parks are established in the city and suburbs and there are over 5,000 vehicle parks.

Some of these car parks are maintained by employees attached to the CMC, while others are run by the private sector under the purview of the CMC.

The CMC has leased these vehicle parks to private companies or individuals.The CMC says that some individuals in Colombo also run parks in their own gardens without paying taxes.

The Sunday Observer last week spoke to the CMC Deputy Traffic Director, Jayantha Guruge on the mushrooming vehicle parks in the city and also about the exorbitant levy charged by vehicle owners even for a short period.


Motor cycles being parked in the city


A car park in Colombo


A car park in Fort

Some park owners charge Rs. 30 for a single hour, while others charge Rs. 40 for the first hour and Rs. 50 each for additional hours. Accordingly they charge over Rs. 400 from vehicle owners for parking vehicles for just eight hours.

The CMC, Deputy Traffic Director said over 200,000 vehicles of all types were entering the Colombo city everyday and existing parks are not sufficient to provide space to all.

"The prime objective of charging a levy from parks are to discourage vehicle owners coming to Colombo everyday,".

However, vehicle owners complain that charging a fee for parking vehicles even for a few minutes is unfair. Vehicle owners charge that the authority were turning a blind eye on such unfair charges.

Even if a vehicle owner parks his vehicle by the roadside for a few minutes, traffic wardens demand around Rs. 30.

Although some vehicle owners give money to traffic wardens, some others do not comply with the demand and refuse to pay. They say that these charges were unfair.

A Banker Gihan Samarasiri, who travels to Colombo in his car everyday requested the CMC not to charge from roadside parks, as it is inconvenient for people to park vehicles for just a few minutes.

Mohan Perera of Ragama showed his displeasure over the demanding of money by traffic wardens at every nook and corner in the city. He said such collections were similar to people engaged in taking `Kappam´ at the Peliyagoda fish market.




Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 @ 11:05:12 LKT

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