IPL peak season for parking loot

IPL peak season for parking loot ?

Cubbon Park, and roads designated 'no-parking,' are packed with endless rows of vehicles. Illegal parking thrives right under the nose of police and park officials. Who is pocketing all the money?

A nexus gets busy every time an IPL match takes place in Bengaluru, making a killing from illegal parking.

Traffic comes to a halt in and around M G Road on match days. That is because rows and rows of vehicles are parked on roads where parking is ostensibly banned by the police. The footpaths are not spared either.

Cubbon Park, where parking is limited, is overrun with vehicles, but the horticulture department, custodian of the park, claims it is not aware. Police claim they are not aware of the violations either. Roads along Chinnaswamy Stadium, Press Club, and Bal Bhavan, where parking is prohibited, are packed with vehicles.

According to the police, four-wheeler parking for match spectators is provided at St Joseph's Indian High School grounds, the first floor of Shivajinagar bus stand, Kanteerava Stadium, St Joseph's European School (Museum Road) and BRV Parade Ground. VVIP parking is in UB City.

A view of bikes parked on the footpath between 6.30 and 7 pm.
A view of bikes parked on the footpath between 6.30 and 7 pm.

No portion of Cubbon Park is officially given out for parking. But Metrolife and hundreds of cricket fans know the truth: vehicles are parked all over the park.

R Hitendra, additional commissioner of police (traffic), is quick to pass the buck. "We have not received any request from the horticulture authorities to take action against any vehicle parked inside Cubbon Park," he says.

What's the loot?

Parking attendants inside Cubbon Park charge between Rs 50 and Rs 100 for two-wheelers, and issue a receipt for just Rs 15. They pocket the difference, presumably sharing it with others involved in the racket. Assuming just 1,000 vehicles, and averaging the collection at Rs 75,000, that is a killing of Rs 60,000 in just a few hours. The city is hosting seven matches, and that makes it an illegal collection of about Rs 4.2 lakh.

No slips

Prakash and Pradeep parked their vehicle on the main road (between the stadium and the park) an hour before the match. "I paid Rs 50 but didn't get a receipt because the parking attendant said he had run out of slips," said Prakash.

Paid Rs 50

Varun Hasteer, IT professional, paid Rs 50 but got a receipt for Rs 15. "I asked the parking attendant and he said that was how it was," he says.

Free parking

Sharath, an IT professional, parked his bike inside Cubbon Park. "It is hard to find a place to park ahead of a match and I thought this was an ideal spot," he says.

Cops look on

Avinash, another IPL fan who parked inside Cubbon Park, shelled out Rs 50. He wonders: "Who do we complain to when all this is happening right under the traffic cop's nose?"

Towing vehicles parked in Cubbon Park but none of them seize two-wheelers parked in no-parking zones during an IPL match.
Towing vehicles parked in Cubbon Park but none of them seize two-wheelers parked in no-parking zones during an IPL match.

Why can't stadium provide parking?

The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) offers no parking for cricket fans. Whatever little space it has for vehicles is cornered by influential people.

It has no immediate plans to address your parking woes either. "A multi-level car park may not be practical. So an underground parking is what we can try to plan,"

- Vinay Mruthyunjaya
Official spokesperson of KSCA

For now, KSCA says it rents spaces in and around the CBD to provide parking during matches.

Parking attendant issuing tickets on King's Road.
Parking attendant issuing tickets on King's Road.

Oh, he doesn't know

Mahantesh Murgod, deputy director of horticulture (in charge of Cubbon Park), has no clue the park is taken over by vehicles during IPL matches. "I didn't know vehicles were being parked here during IPL matches. I had written to the police asking them not to allow parking inside Cubbon Park, but I am surprised they are doing nothing."

Here, sir, Metrolife is giving you pictorial proof. Let's see what you're going to do.

 

Attendant's story

A horticulture department employee encourages cricket fans to park on the road and footpath across the stadium and inside Cubbon Park. He charges between Rs 50 and Rs 100 and issues a department slip for Rs 15.

When Metrolife caught him in the act, he admitted he was collecting way more than allowed. "On IPL match days, people park here and we end up working overtime. We try and accommodate as many bikes as possible between King's Road (parallel to Queen's Road) and Press Club."

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