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Al Majaz residents cry foul over parking fines

Motorists fined for non-payment while meters are still covered

Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News
Although there are parking meters installed in the area, three of them are covered in polythene.
Gulf News

Sharjah: Motorists who parked their vehicles next to the canal at Al Majaz 3 in Sharjah got a shock last week when they were suddenly issued parking fines.

The area has a mixture of paid and free parking slots and residents have been parking for free on this particular lane next to the Al Qasba canal.

Though there are parking meters installed on the lane three of them are covered in polythene. According to residents one has been uncovered and operational for the last three months, but nobody has been paying for parking.

“These meters were installed before Ramadan and three of them have been covered since then. One meter was uncovered and operational from the beginning but nobody paid, because nobody knew whether it was paid parking or free. When we asked the municipality inspector he said the parking was free and the municipality would issue a notice when the paid parking starts, but all of a sudden they have started issuing fines,” said Farhaan Khan (name changed on request) who received a ticket of Dh150 on September 25.

Khan was one of around dozen motorists who received tickets on Tuesday afternoon.

“It is very confusing here, on one side of the road there are paid parking boards and on the other side there are none, the paid and unpaid zones are mixed at a few metres distance. People don’t know whether to pay or not and all of a sudden they are issued fines,” said another motorist who received a fine on Wednesday.

According to one parking inspector, who patrols the area, the roadside parking slots near the meter that is operational are paid and those slots that are near the covered meters just a few steps away are unpaid.

He added that they received an order to issue fines from the municipality but when asked why the residents were not notified he didn’t answer.

However, an official at the parking department of Sharjah Municipality said that motorists who received fines in the area should come with their tickets to the municipality main office and get them verified.

“In case the motorists were unjustly penalised the fines could be cancelled, but we will have to verify it first and for that motorists have to come to us with their tickets,” said the official.