Mangaluru’s ‘towing’ menace


Team Udayavani, Jan 12, 2021, 10:10 AM IST

Mangaluru: Even without any proper parking facility, city’s traffic police, however, are imposing expensive fines from motorists here citing violation of no-parking rules. Serious objections have now been raised by the general public.

Almost, 70 per cent of the city does not have reserved parking space in public places or on roads and only a few areas have no parking boards.

However, every day, traffic police units can be seen in towing vehicles on the excuse that they were parked in a no-parking zone and fine the vehicle owners Rs 1,650.

This causes immense problems to daily wage earners and hawkers hawking items on their two-wheelers. Sometimes their vehicles are towed when they are away from their vehicle even for a minute. Some of them have complained that sometimes their vehicles are towed for 4-5 times in a month.

Presently, most of the city’s parking space has been cleared due to road/sewer development works. This causes people to park anywhere they find space on the roadside while going away momentarily for either buying milk, newspapers, vegetables, or obtaining money from the ATM. In such cases too many vehicles are towed away.

As per rules, the vehicle must be declared in violation of the parking rules to the concerned vehicle owner/rider before being towed and he/she must be given 5 minutes to move the vehicle. However, as per allegations from the public, this is never done.

For these reasons, at the recent General Meeting of the Mangaluru City Corporation, there was a demand for suspending all towing operations.

Towing charges have also risen after the passage of the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2020. Two-wheeler riders now have to shell out Rs 1,650 and four-wheelers Rs 2,000.

Of the Rs 1,650 for two-wheelers, only Rs 1,000 is for the violation of parking rules, remaining Rs 325 is for the towing contractor and the rest goes to government coffers. Similarly, the 2,000 fined for four-wheelers Rs 1,000 is fine for the violation, while Rs 500 each from the remaining is for the contractor and government.

Earlier the fines charged were Rs 750 for two-wheelers of this Rs 325 was for the contractors and Rs 425 to the government. Rs 1,100 was fined for four-wheelers out of which Rs 500 was for the contractor and Rs 600 for the government.

Towing operations was introduced in Mangaluru on March 2, 2019. Till November 2020, a total of 3,575 cases of parking rules violation were filed and fines totaling to Rs 48,44,800 were collected.

Towing operations were stopped during the COVID-19-induced lockdown and was resumed after September 8.

The towing operations are given on contract after a tender. The present contract is for three years starting from March 2019. Many are of the opinion that to recover their bid amount, the contractors seize and tow any vehicles they see.

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