KMC ordered to end 'illegal charged parking spots' in Karachi

2 months ago 50
An illegal charged parking site at the Liaquatabad Supermarket. Photo — Online/File An illegal charged parking site at the Liaquatabad Supermarket. Photo — Online/File 

KARACHI: In a bid to stop “extortion” in the name of charged parking" and ensure the smooth flow of traffic on the roads, the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday ordered the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to end illegal charged parking spots in the port city.

A two-member bench of the SHC comprising Justice Nadeem Akhtar and Justice Mohammad Abdur Rehman issued the directives while hearing a set of petitions filed against the charged parking sprang up on roads, footpaths, and other public and private places in different parts of the metropolis.

At the outset of today’s hearing, Justice Akhtar asked KMC’s counsel: “Under which law do you charge parking fee?”

“The KMC is allowed to collect parking fees on 41 roads and service roads. Under the Sindh Local Government Act, the KMC is allowed to collect the fee aimed at maintaining roads,” replied the lawyer.

At this, the court asked how the KMC would stop irrelevant people from collecting the fee in the name of the corporation.

In foreign countries, machines are installed for this purpose, the judge observed and asked if KMC is allowed to collect fees from all the areas in the metropolis.

It is pertinent to mention here that charged parking spots sprang up in almost all the areas in Karachi, especially near the hospitals, markets, and public parks. Some of the charged parking spots are being run by private persons.

In his remarks, Justice Akhtar termed the KMC’s report submitted in the court “contrary to the facts”, adding that the issue would not be resolved by mere paperwork.

Expressing his annoyance, the high court judge said that the court was provided a list of 43 charged parking spots, but on KMC's website, the number of such spots is 81.

Justice Akhtar also expressed his displeasure over the non-implementation of the court's previous ruling about the illegal parking spots and asked how could the authority collect fees in the areas that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the corporation.

He further asked under what law you are charging fees from those areas where you are unable to maintain roads. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till December 13.