By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI — The seasonal parking permits issued by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) are not valid for use in parking lots near the Gold Souq in Deira, Khaleej Times has learnt.
Many motorists are unaware of the change which came into effect from September 15, though RTA has put up a huge signboard near the parking lots that reads “parking permits not valid”.
A senior RTA official also told Khaleej Times that the authority has done enough to make people aware of the situation as “handouts providing the information as well as SMS messages were sent to motorists from September 9.” However, many motorists said that they received SMS from RTA’s customer care, informing them about the change, a week after the new rule came into effect. “I was not aware of the fact that parking permits are not valid near the Gold Souq even four days after it came into effect and I parked my car there unaware that I could incur a fine. Luckily, for me, I didn’t get any fines but my colleague was not so lucky as he was fined by the parking inspector for not paying the due fees. This is how we came to know,” said Mohammed Nayeem, who has a 12-month parking permit.
Nayeem says, the permit which he renewed recently, is going to be a waste as he bought it avoid paying hourly parking fees at Gold Souq where he works.
The new regulation is effective only at two parking lots opposite the Gold Souq on Al Khor street, next to the Gold Souq Bus Station. The parking lots are identified with a code ‘112A’. However, the regulations do not cover street-side parking spaces in the surrounding areas with the same parking code.
“The parking permits would be invalid only at two big parking lots opposite the Gold Souq apart from the Fish Market parking area, which already had the same regulations. The decision has been made to help Gold Souq visitors find parking easily and reduce congestion,” said Adil Al Marzouqi, Director of Parking at RTA.
However, motorists beg to differ with the official reason behind the decision. Many believe it is one of RTA’s tactics to make people leave their cars behind and use the newly opened metro Green Line, which serves the area.
“I don’t think it (the decision) has anything to do with reducing congestion, it is about making more and more money. It is people like me who come here daily for work who suffer. I bought a permit because I can’t afford to pay hourly parking fees and now they have made it invalid. I can’t travel by the metro, either, as it doesn’t connect with the area where I live,” said a dejected Akash Kumar, who works for one of the gold shops at the Gold Souq. There are many others who echoed Kumar’s views. More info