Friday, April 09, 2021

Pay Double Penalty For Parking Outside Toll Area At City Airport

Just when you had resigned about the high charge of Rs 90 for cars at city airport, here comes another sledgehammer measure that will send you reeling. The airport operator, Adani Airports, will charge you Rs 1,000 straight if you try to duck the minimum charge a park it outside toll area for a few short minutes.

The private operator’s men swoop down on any car parked outside the designated lots with certain glee. One passenger told Mirror that a security guard came to his car with a wheel lock in his hand and demanded Rs 1,000 for not parking inside. They make it look like a raid with a motorbike suddenly blocking the car’s path and another burly guard knocking on the window asking for penalty. They will somehow make you pay,” the passenger said.

Leave aside using strong-arm tactics, the airport operator is in on very shaky grounds about collecting Rs1,000 as ‘penalty’. For perspective, the Commissionerate of Transport has allowed a penalty of Rs 500 for violation of parking rules. The rules do not mention the airport operator to charge Rs 500 more on the prescribed penalty. 

So how did they arrive at the Rs1,000 penalty? The operator inserted ads in local papers to empower himself. A Mirror  correspondent tested out the scene on Sunday. The reporter parked his car just outside the toll-booth area. Within moments a motorbike-borne man reached the spot and parked his bike in front of the car. Another guard knocked on the car window and stuck his hand in to ask for Rs 1,000 penalty. A third guard followed with a car wheel lock. They then showed receipts of other people who were made to pay the money. When told that this car had just come out of the parking after the passenger walked out from there, they did not relent.

When told that there was no notice board indicating the increased Rs 1,000 penalty, one of the guards, Bhavesh, said, “You can read the advertisements in all newspapers. The charges have been published.” 

09/04/21 Ojas Mehta/Ahmedabad Mirror

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