Mandalay gets tough on poor parking
ARMED with wheel clamps and fixedpenalty notices, Mandalay tax officials are trying to rid the city’s streets of illegally parked vehicles. U Khin Soe, an official with the Internal Revenue Department, said the city had busted more than 200 illegally parked cars in the six downtown townships.
The campaign began on October 15, targeting double-parked vehicles in “no-standing” zones or narrow streets. Erring drivers, charged K50,000 per vehicle, have reluctantly contributed more than K11 million (US$8600) in fines, he said.
“We patrol around 35th Street, which divides north from south. As we’ve been fining drivers in that zone, the problem there has eased, but incidence has increased elsewhere. We will keep taking action against drivers who break the law,” he said yesterday.
The action is particularly intense around Zeigyo Market, around crowded Diamond Plaza, and at 78th and 84th streets.
The city tows away illegally parked cars, charging drivers K50,000 for the tow plus another K50,000 in fines. A driver who turns up when his or her wheel is being clamped will be fined K10,000 in the case of a car and K30,000 for a medium-sized or larger vehicle. If the wheel is clamped in the absence of the driver, a K50,000 fine is levied to release it. Drivers who try to break the clamp will be charged 10 times its value.
“Parking problems are getting worse and worse now that there are more cars on the roads. There is not enough parking space at crowded places like Zeigyo Market and the shopping plazas. Traffic is always jammed at office and school opening and closing times because cars and motorcycles are parked on 26th Street in front of Zeigyo Market. It’s worse when the traffic lights are not working. Moreover, the roads are narrow. Removing illegally parked cars will help a bit,” said local resident U Kyaw.
– Translation by San Layy