Parking vehicles in Capital not a walk in the park

  • Shrinking parking areas in expanding city concern many
- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jul 6, 2017-

Sushil Shahi on Tuesday parked his motorcycle next to the entry gate of Shanker Dev Campus and went to a book shop. When he returned after a few minutes, he could not find his two-wheeler. 

It was taken away by Kathamandu Metropolitan City’s city police “for parking the vehicle in no-parking zone”.

“What surprised me was other dozens of motorbikes were still there,” said Shahi, 37.

On Tuesday alone, the metropolis had impounded around three dozen motorcycles from “no-parking zones”.

Shahi is a case in point. 

KMC’s city police impound 30-40 motorcycles every day from places like Dharma Path, Putalisadak, New Road, Tabahal, Jamal, New Baneshwor, Ratnapark 

and Bagbazaar among other places. “I don’t know where to park my motorcycle,” said Shahi.

This illustrates shrinking parking areas in an expanding Capital city. 

Those whose motorbikes are impounded have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 to get their vehicles released. 

According to KMC officials, last year alone the metropolis raised Rs 8million in fine 

from those whose two-wheelers were impounded for illegal parking.

“The metropolis seems to be concerned about generating revenue only. When will it start managing parking areas in the Capital city?” Shahi wondered. “My whole day was wasted and I was tense throughout the day,” said Shahi of the incident. 

Bishnu Prasad Joshi, chief of KMC’s city police, agreed that vehicle parking has emerged as one of the major challenges in the Capital city with the rise in population and number of vehicles. 

According to the Department of Transport Management, Kathmandu alone has 880,000 registered motorbikes.  

The metropolis has identified 70 places as “free parking zones”, according to Joshi. 

But motorcyclists say it is very hard to find a place to park bikes. “And at times we manage to squeeze our motorbikes. When we return to get our bikes, someone just pops up asking for parking fee,” a motorcyclist said. 

Joshi suggested that people park their bikes at malls and supermarkets instead of parking them on roadsides. “Those people’s motorbikes are impounded who leave their vehicles on the roadside, blocking traffic as well as pedestrians’ movement,” said Joshi. 

The parking problem in the Valley, however, is not something that has emerged recently. Kathmanduites have been facing this problem for over a decade now. 

The metropolis has been working to resolve this issue since 2003, according to Dhanapati Sapkota, former chief of KMC city police. 

In a bid to address the parking problem in the metropolis, the KMC last year announced that it would construct a five-storey automated parking building in Dharmapath and underground parking lots in Khula Manch and Lainchaur. But the plan seems to have hit a roadblock, as no progress has been made so far. 

Published: 06-07-2017 07:55

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