By Shafaat Ahmed (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.khaleejtimes.com
Residents in some parts of Umm Ramool and Al Garhoud were shocked to know on Tuesday that their areas are the latest to be converted into paid parking zones.
New parking meters and signboards had been under polythene wraps in the area for some time now, indicating that the areas are lined up for paid parking, but residents were unaware when the meters would start.
“Until Monday evening, the meters and signboards were wrapped and (we) didn’t have any idea that we will have to pay from today (Tuesday). Luckily, I moved my car early in the morning and only when I returned later in the day that I realised that the meters are operating,” said a bewildered Moosa Hamdani, a resident of Umm Ramool.
One of the areas under question is behind the new headquarters of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the second is near Al Tayer Motor showroom in Al Garhoud.
Though, no one is reportedly fined for not paying, a lot of motorists who regularly park in the area were caught unawares.
“I come for work in this area and I have been parking my car here for free. When I came early in the morning, I didn’t notice the area has been converted into a paid parking zone. Then, I overheard people talking in office and rushed back but, thankfully, there was no fine,” said another shocked motorist, we wished to remain anonymous.
When contacted, Director of Parking at the RTA Adel Al Marzooqi confirmed that parking in Umm Ramool and Al Garhoud areas would be paid from now.
“The areas were approved to be paid parking zones early in the year, but we were working for construction activities to complete.
They are part of a list of areas approved for 2010, including Al Hudaiba, which became paid parking zone in August,” Al Marzooqi told Khaleej Times.
He also indicated that more areas could become paid parking zones next year.