Cinemas receive double the fixed amount of parking fees | News from Coimbatore
Coimbatore: Moviegoers complain of being defrauded by movie theaters in the city by charging parking fees in excess of the amount set by the state government. In 2017, the state government set Rs 10 for two-wheelers and Rs 20 for four-wheelers as parking fees at cinemas and multiplexes within company boundaries.
But theater owners have quietly raised fees to Rs 20 for two-wheelers and Rs 40 for four-wheelers, according to moviegoers and campaigners in the city. They blame the district administration, which is the enforcement authority, for failing to act against the cinemas for violating the order of the state government.
VS Jaganathan, a movie buff, said he only paid Rs 20 to park his bike for 12 hours at car parks at bus stations and rail junctions in the city. “But the same amount is collected for only three hours in theaters. Only theaters on the outskirts of the city collect Rs 10 as per government order. Almost all theaters in the city charge Rs 20 per bike. For four-wheeled vehicles, charges start at Rs 30,” he said.
Another movie buff said watching a movie in the cinema has already become an expensive affair. “A service charge of at least Rs 30 is levied for each ticket booked online. Everyone knows the price at which snacks are sold there. In malls, parking fees are even higher,” he added.
Secretary of Cause of Coimbatore Consumers K Kathirmathiyon said the fixed government parking fee was collected whenever the district administration strictly enforced the government order in the past. When the district administration washed its hands of the matter, theaters charged high, he said. Although shopping centers are not mentioned in the government decree, the rule also applies to multiplex cinemas. Therefore, malls that have multiplex cinemas should reserve separate parking spaces for moviegoers and collect fees according to the government order, Kathirmathiyon said. There are malls that charge parking fees of up to Rs 60 for four-wheelers, he said.
When contacted, the collector Dr. GS Sameeran said he would investigate the matter and take appropriate action.