Mysuru: Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) had announced on Nov. 27, 2017 that it had taken a decision to prohibit the Mall owners in the city from collecting parking fees for two and four-wheelers. This order was also implemented accordingly and the Malls stopped collecting the fees.
Meanwhile, the Mall owners tried to meet the MCC Commissioner to discuss the parking issue but failed to do so as the Commissioner was unavailable.
With no other option, the Mall owners were forced to file a writ petition in the High Court of Karnataka on Jan.16, 2018, following which the High Court stayed the MCC Commissioner’s Order for free parking, said Deepak Lulla, joint owner of the B.M. Habitat Mall.
He was addressing a press conference at the Pathrakarthara Bhavan here this morning and said that once the matter was heard by the High Court from both sides, the HC stayed the order of the Commissioner on April 13, 2018.
“The practice of charging a fee for parking is prevailing in all Malls, including the city of Bengaluru and other parts of the country,” he said and added, “Earlier when the parking fee was not charged, many people working in places like Madikeri, K.R. Nagar, Hunsur and K.R. Pet used to park their vehicles in our Mall, which in turn led to shortage of space for the regular customers.”
Lulla further said that “The main reason why parking fee is collected is because it covers the cost of maintenance, taxes, power charges and manpower costs. We also have to pay property tax and 18 percent GST. However, the notice that the MCC suddenly served on us last November was quite shocking. And it had also given a press release that it has no knowledge of the stay order passed by the High Court, even though our office handed a copy of the Court order to the Assistant Commissioner Zone-4.”
Continuing his remarks, Lulla said that B.M. Habitat Mall had been charging parking fee since 2011 and the charges are Rs. 20 for two-wheelers and Rs. 40 for four-wheelers up to 3 hours which has not been hiked at all.
“We continue to collect parking fee based on HC stay order and till the matter is finally settled in Court, MCC should stop creating this confusion,” he said.
Adding to what Lulla had mentioned, the Manager of Mall of Mysore C.P. Medappa said, “The Municipal Corporation Rules explicitly state that every commercial establishment has to provide underground or cellar parking and there is no law which says that parking fees cannot be collected. We have to collect it for the maintenance of the parking place, providing security to the vehicles and most importantly, to see that the parking place is not misused.”
Medappa further stated that as Mall of Mysore was close to the Race Course its parking lot was being misused by the race-goers and others by parking their vehicles free of cost which inconvenienced the Mall’s customers but once it was made paid parking this menace stopped.
MCC Commissioner reacts
MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesh, reacting to the statements of the Mall owners, told SOM that he was aware of the stay order by the High Court regarding paying of parking fee in Malls. “I have asked the Joint Director, Town Planning of MCC to provide the feedback to the advocates representing the MCC in the High Court so that they can present the case properly,” and added saying “We will abide by the decision of the High Court whatever the outcome.”
Free parking remains at Forum Centre City
While other Malls are charging parking fee, the Forum Centre City Mall is not charging any parking fee, according to Khuteja Afzal, Sr. Executive, Marketing and Communication, Forum Centre City Mall. However, as a precautionary measure, the Forum Mall issues token slips to vehicle owners before availing the parking facility and collects it back without any parking fee when they leave the Mall.