More areas in the capital are coming under the ‘paid parking zone’, making vehicle owners shell out more money, even at their residences and work places.
Residents and staff at the business and residential districts of CBD, Al Khuwair, Ruwi and Qurm are the most affected.
Rents for commercial spaces in the areas would be affected as shop owners move to places with better facilities for customers.
As most of the CBD area is under the paid parking zone, residents have to spend a huge amount on the monthly parking pass.
“The only free parking space available is so crowded it is impossible to take a vehicle out from there,” Avinash Kumar, a resident of CBD, said.
Parking fees is 100 baisa for 30 minutes. The meters operate from 8 am to 1 pm and again from 4 pm to 9 pm, except on Friday and Saturday and official public holidays.
Parking procedures have been simplified. Vehicle owners have to simply send an SMS to 90091 to book the parking space.
He said most apartments are mixed-use ones. “During working hours, employees park their vehicles, leaving little room for permanent residents.”
Shop owners in Ruwi are worried about losing business to new commercial centres and malls with better/ free parking facilities.
“I had many loyal customers. Now, they have switched to hypermarkets and malls for several reasons, including parking woes,” said Ashraf, the manager of a shop selling mobile phones and electronic goods.
These concerns were raised by some money exchanges and restaurants operating in Ruwi.
“It is not that difficult place to find a parking these days in Ruwi or CBD, but most places are under the paid parking zone and customers have easy options elsewhere.”
Businesses in the commercial districts of Al Khuwair and Qurm echoed the same feelings.