By IAN MCINTYRE
KOTA BARU: The state government has now confirmed that there is an increase in car parking charges at the 2,000 municipality lots, making it RM1 per hour, which is among the highest in the country.
After weeks of silence after the state MCA raised the matter two weeks ago, state Local Government committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan has now confirmed that the state executive councillors approved a 20 sen per hour hike. According to him, the last time the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) parking charges were reviewed was 10 years back.
He denied that there was no prior announcement made to the increase, saying MPKB issued notices last month over the hike.
"For Kelantan, the increase is reasonable and we expect other municipalities to also increase as we are under pressure to generate more income so services to ratepayers can be improved," he said.
MPKB wanted a higher quantum of increase but the state decided to allow a minimal hike which also acts as a deterrent for motorists who hog parking lots for an unreasonable period.
Takiyuddin said the move was to encourage motorists to plan out their programme when driving around the state capital.
Kelantan MCA did a survey with other municipalities in the peninsula and found that the Kelantan rate of RM1 per hour was among the highest, prompting the MCA to appeal to MPKB to reconsider the new parking fee as the prices of many other goods and services have risen due to the fuel hike.
With a new site for public transport expected to be ready next year along the Sungai Kelantan mega riverside development project, Takiyuddin said proper routing would be done to accommodate those who need to patronise commercial, trade and tourism centres in the capital.
Takiyuddin said similar to other states, Kelantan encourages ratepayers to use the public transport and to alleviate the limited parking bays available in the town centre.