Cops take FIR route to fight illegal parking

In an effort to utilize maximum road space, police have started slapping IPC charges against all those parking their vehicles illegally— mostly autos and taxis — in and around JL Nehru Road and Free School Street. Three FIRs were lodged in the past two days itself. The drive will spread to Park Street and its surrounding areas before Christmas.

According to New Market police and south traffic guard sources, they were "forced" to slap IPC 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation) after minor charges slapped on drivers were either disregarded or simply not taken seriously. "Under such a section, the fine is minimum, a mere Rs 200. But then you need to come to the police station, wait for your turn to pay and leave with your vehicle. This acts as a good reminder to all these drivers to think twice before illegally parking their vehicles," said a senior officer from New Market police.

According to sergeants from the south traffic guard, taxis either keep rolling at a snail's pace around Grand Hotel, hoping to pick up a passenger or just park on narrow stretches like Free School Street. "We keep encountering snarls whereby vehicles trying to enter Park Street from JL Nehru Road get stuck. There have been instances when fire tenders have got stuck on Free School Street due to illegal parking. Hence the decision to keep the nerve of the city free of illegal parking," stated an official.

In the past two days, all the FIRs were drawn up between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Tulakanta Jha, 40, was booked for parking his taxi in front of Oberoi Grand. So was Devnand Adak, 35, who was pulled up at the same spot. A third taxi driver, Md Mukhtar, 42, was booked for parking illegally on Free School Street. "Police targeted only the taxis. Why were the police not taking action against erring auto drivers?" questioned Vinay Pawan, a taxi driver who was picking up passengers on JL Nehru Road.