Aurangabad : The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Aurangabad asked all its affiliated colleges to provide free parking facilities to the students.
Taking serious note of complaints received against a section of institutions that have been charging students for parking their bicycles and two-wheelers, the DTE authorities have also asked to submit an action report in this regard.
The colleges have been asked to charge a nominal amount from visitors for using the parking facility, the DTE said.
Rahul Narote — a student activist who had formally lodged the complaint on the parking issue — said students need to shell out money in the range of Rs 600 to Rs 1,000 per month for parking their vehicles on college campuses. “It is a huge amount considering a major chunk of students cannot afford to pay, but are forced to do so. Most of these parking facilities are illegal as they do not have mandatory approvals. It is nothing but daylight robbery that needs to be stopped,” he said.
While parking always remains a bone of contention between college authorities and students, the latest order has evoked mixed response from the institutions.
Santosh Bhosle, principal of MIT, welcomed the decision of offering free parking to students. “None of the institutions run by MIT group charge parking fee from student. We believe that it is inappropriate to charge anything extra from students who already paid a stipulated amount while taking admission,” he said.
A section of institutions said colleges incur expenditure towards appointing contractor, hiring parking space and carrying out maintenance. “Manpower is needed to guard parking lots and in absence of it chaos is imminent. We need to be compensated for expenditure incurred and therefore charge a minimal amount of fee towards parking,” said a principal, requesting anonymity.
Few colleges also said certain uniformity must be brought in parking charges instead of abolishing it completely. “The parking charges need to be rationalized and not abolished,” they said.
Nartode also demanded that institutions not coming under the jurisdiction of DTE must also waive off parking charges. “The issue of exorbitant parking charges is applicable to traditional Arts, Commence and Science Colleges as well. The competent authorities should emulate DTE move and abolish parking charges,” he said.
As per the laid down norms, colleges are also entitled to get grants for the parent state university for raising the parking stand, but all colleges do not receive such aid.
It should be noted that Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2014 had formed a separate committee for deciding parking charges on campuses.
When contacted, Suhas Morale, director of students’ welfare at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), said university has not taken any official stand yet on the matter of parking in colleges.
“We may consider discussing the issue formally at designated platforms in near future if need be,” he said.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.