KOLKATA: Despite police challaning to keep the MaidanVictoria Memorial area free of parking after specific orders from the Calcutta high court, the winter has seen a rise in this illegal practice.

The traffic police -especially the south traffic guard -have decided to coordinate with Maidan police station to use tow vehicles and clamps on cars that park on these stretches in order to “send across a tough message.”

The cops say that while the entire area is prone to illegal parking, the Brigade side has major irregularities.

“Car owners are disembarking near Victoria Memorial for their morning walk. The drivers are expected to park either at the Tata Centre end or at Babughat. But taking advantage of the morning hours, when there are only a few traffic sergeants, drivers often refuse to comply with orders. We also found that several radio taxis and pool cars are parking in the area. Merely fining them is not serving the purpose. Hen ce, we have begun clamping vehicles. In the next step, we are going to tow the cars away . A couple of vehicles were towed to our Maidan office on Thursday . We plan to sustain this drive. The daily average infringement is nothing less than 8-12 cases every two hours,” an officer said.

But the cops are also planning on incentives. “We are actively in talks with KMC to try and give certain parking fee concessions to regulars.In addition, we want to raise the awareness about Maidan by roping in students. The idea is to involve the community and ensure that we do not pollute the Maidan,” explained another officer. Lalbazar officers said Maidan was on the top of the list.”At a time when plans are being formulated to relocate the Esplanade bus stand, we cannot allow illegal parking in this area,” explained a senior IPS officer.

The mounted police too have been asked to ensure that two-wheelers do not invade the Maidan in the evenings. “The police drive notwithstanding, there are still major infringements. We are trying to solve the issues,” the official admitted.

“Maidan is already out of bounds for car owners, as vehicles cannot be parked in and around the Maidan area.The only place where car owners can park comfortably is the stretch near Prinsep Ghat. This is why several morning and evening walkers throng the riverside walkway . There is no parking restriction there. The problem here for certain motorists is that they take traffic rules and restrictions casually unless fined,” admitted Ratan Lal, a regular at the Victoria Memorial.

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Source: TOI-Kol