BBMP to start towing of vehicles, in the guise of smart parking
There is a possibility that the towing system, which was suspended after the public outcry, will be implemented again in the city.
Bengaluru: There is a possibility that the towing system, which was suspended after the public outcry, will be implemented again in the city. While the traffic police are ambivalent about the resumption of towing in the city, the BBMP is gearing up behind the scenes for the resumption of towing. The corporation's contention is that the contractors operating Smart Parking in the city have the authority to tow vehicles parked in restricted parking spaces.
Space has been identified for smart parking in 722 places in the city and tenders have also been called. A preliminary meeting is held before calling the tender. A condition has been added that contractors seeking tenders for smart parking spaces must have towing vehicles. Each contractor should have 5 to 6 towing vehicles,'' said BBMP Special Commissioner (Planning) PN Ravindra.
"If the vehicle is parked illegally in the smart parking space, if the owner of the vehicle fails to pay the parking fee, if the vehicle is parked illegally in the parking restricted areas, the contractor can tow such vehicles and hand them over to the police stations of the respective jurisdiction. We have decided to discuss this issue with the police," he said. The traffic police has informed that there is a discussion going on at the government level about the resumption of towing in the city.
BBMP has not been able to start the proposed towing as it failed to get a response from contractors in the first tender called in September for smart parking. For this reason, the Corporation has called the tender for the second time with a minor amendment. The contractor has to perform the work for a period of 10 years. According to the smart parking system, sensors should be installed to record the entry and exit of vehicles. Owners of vehicles can pay the parking fee by cash or card. BBMP has classified parking lots into A, B and C categories.
The issue of towing vehicles in the city was the subject of intense public debate a few days ago. The police had argued that towing was necessary to prevent vehicular congestion on the roads due to haphazard parking of vehicles and to avoid traffic problems. There was a flood of complaints from people regarding towing. There were allegations of misconduct. In this background, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had ordered to stop the towing system in February.
Earlier, there were complaints about inhumane treatment of motorists under the pretext of towing in Indiranagar and Halasuru gate traffic police station. As the videos related to the inhumane behaviour of the police went viral on social media, there was public outrage. Later, the Chief Minister held a meeting of senior police officers and directed them to stop the towing of vehicles in the city.