Most commercial hubs, malls, and hospitals in India provide for parking spaces. These parking facilities often charge a fee typically ranging from ₹10 to ₹50 depending on the duration of parking. Logically, one would contend that the fee is used for the maintenance of the infrastructure and not question its imposition. Let’s find out if Parking Fee Collection by Malls and Hospitals is Illegal?
Crackdown on illegal parking fee collection in India
Early this year, a petition was filed in the high court against commercial complexes collecting parking fees in Gujarat. It was also brought to light how hefty parking fee at malls was leading to accidents as visitors instead parked their cars outside, also leading to traffic congestion.
In May, revenue officials in Kerala highlighted how shopping malls and hospitals in the city were charging for parking, in direct violation of the Kerala Municipal Building Rules (KMBR). According to the KMBR, permits could be allocated to a commercial establishment only if it had adequate parking space. Most visitors remained unaware of the fact that this parking fee collection is not legally permitted by the Corporation.
Back in 2014, the city Corporation had conducted a crackdown on illegal parking lots in the city’s cinema theatres, hospitals, and other commercial establishments. In Hyderabad too, commercial complexes in the city continue to charge for parking, despite government orders. While multiplexes are slowly falling in line, many complexes continue with the practice.
Recently, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) threatened hospitals and malls charging parking fees with revocation of licenses. The body has issued public notices directing malls, office complexes, and hospitals, to not charge parking fees on numerous occasions over the last two years. Such establishments are now set to receive a final warning before the cancellation of licenses.
Clearly, malls and hospitals cannot charge visitors for parking and ought to stop the fraudulent practice. However, a clear solution to the problem will require adequate policy implementation and a longer-term vision to clip the problem’s wings for good.