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The misappropriated parking lot

Earlier functioning from a building near the Collectorate, the Koh-e-Fiza police station was recently shifted to an old bungalow on the GAD Square. One can, obviously, have no quarrel with that.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 15:53 IST

Earlier functioning from a building near the Collectorate, the Koh-e-Fiza police station was recently shifted to an old bungalow on the GAD Square. One can, obviously, have no quarrel with that.

What is objectionable, however, is that the police station has (mis) appropriated for its own use the public space  outside its new premises that was a Traffic Police-designated parking lot for shoppers and visitors to the numerous shops and offices located in multi-storeyed complexes around the GAD Square. Although wholly inadequate for the purpose, yet it was some relief.

This space is now being used by the police station as a warehouse for ‘accidented’ and seized two-, three- and four-wheelers, including  minibuses, depriving the people of the much-needed parking space.

Strangely, the authorities, including DSP Traffic, have, reportedly, expressed ignorance about the existence (for a few years) of the parking facility at the spot and want to refer to land records for confirmation.

The fact, however, is that till the other day the place was  enclosed with mobile barricades of the police and traffic cops not only insisted on parking of vehicles within the enclosure, they even used to impose fines for breaches of their directions.

There was even a case of a traffic constable being placed under suspension for misbehaving with a lady during an argument about parking of her vehicle within the enclosure. And, yet all now seem to be unaware of its existence! It, obviously, means that the DSP was ignorant of what his constables were doing (seemingly irregularly) till the other day on the GAD Square. Such lack of straightforwardness is a sure recipe for the government, especially the police, to lose the confidence of the people.

Even if the small area was (irregularly?) earmarked for parking it was a people-friendly measure. Besides, it alleviated the traffic congestion around Indira Gandhi’s statue. The police were, therefore, ill-advised to convert it, a valuable piece of land on a frightfully busy round-about, into a junkyard. It needs to be immediately brought back to its earlier, infinitely better use. Bhopal Municipal Corporation, who, presumably, is the owner of the plot, should take immediate remedial measures for the benefit of the people.

Proloy Bagchi