According to a recent order passed by the Gujarat HC, malls and multiplexes in Ahmedabad cannot charge a parking fee. This order is set to put a smile on the faces of the many residents of the city. The order, which came in response to a petition filed by AlphaOne mall, rena-med as AhnedabadOne, against the state government, Ahmed-abad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and police inspector of traffic division over parking fee. The said petition argued that initially, the parking was made free, however, as a result of this, people who were visiting other places, also started to park their vehicle in the allocated space. This resulted in the parking space being filled with the people visiting the mall not being able to utilize it. In lieu of this, the party of petitioners decided to a levy charge of Rs 10 for two-wheelers and Rs 20 for four-wheelers.
The Court, however, said that the under the General Development Control Regulations, 2017 (GDCR) framed under the provisions of the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976, and the Gujarat Nagarpalika Act, 1963, does not specify malls and multiplexes to demand a parking fee.
“We are of the view that there is no necessity to rationalise and regulate the parking policy and/or parking fee,” the court said and added, "at the most, it can be said that the maintenance cost for the parking space, which is to be mandatorily provided as per GDCR, may be proportionately borne by the owner of the mall and occupant/owner of such shops, multiplexes, restaurants, etc., depending upon the nature of their contract, but by no stretch of imagination can it be said that the visitors of such shops, multiplexes, restaurants, etc. will have to be burdened with parking fee.”
The mall authorities had approached the High Court in Jul 2018 following the issuing of a notice that informed the mall owners that the parking fee being collected was in violation of the GDCR and the Building Use (BU) Permission.