It was a rainy Sunday in Bangalore, India. Me and my niece were on the move from one place to another on my bike. We stopped at a point in 'Koramangala 5th Block' for some ice-cream. I parked my bike and went to the ice-cream parlour. When we returned, my bike was missing.
As there was no cop or anyone from the govt. or police department around, I had to take help from a nearby shop-keeper and he said that probably the bike was towed in some tempo-truck by a nearby police station. When we went to the 'Koramangala Police Station', they asked me to go to the 'Adugodi Traffic Police Station'. I reached the police station and found that lots of bikes were parked and chained in an open ground. There were also many young people waiting for their bikes.
There was a truck and inside was a Traffic Police. I went and asked him about my bike and he asked me to check among the parked (chained) bikes. When I didn't find it, I went back to him and he called some local people (not policemen for sure) to look into the matter. They told me that my bike will arrive in another truck in about 15 mins.
We waited for nearly one and half hours before the next truck reached the ground. There were no office or any police man to help the people. And people were waiting for their bikes to arrive under the shades of nearby shops as it was raining heavily. I was told by many that their bikes had been taken illegally. There was no 'No Parking' sign. And it was true. As my bike was also parked along with other cars and there was no sign-board that mentioned anything about 'No Parking' or 'No Parking for Two-Wheelers'.
When the Tow-Truck arrived, people went looking for their bikes. For some time there was a traffic policeman. But later, he left the truck and went somewhere. The truck guys (not policemen) were asking for fines from each person. When someone asked for the receipt, he was directed to the building of the 'Adugodi Traffic Police Station'. Many paid whatever they could to these guys on the truck and moved on in their bikes without government receipts.
People who went to the building, were asked to pay 300 (INR) and were issued receipts by Government of Karnataka. Rs100 for 'Wrong Parking', Rs100 as 'Govt. Towing Charge' and Rs100 for 'Private Component of Towing Charge'.
Now, my questions to the Government of Karnataka and the Traffic Police Department are - why was there no sign board or any guard in the 'Wrong Parking' zone and how will people find out about which police station to visit if their bikes or cars are towed? And lastly, can anyone from the Tow Truck (so-called), not necessarily cop, ask for money (bribe?) from people before releasing their vehicles? The questions continued ringing in my head until we reached home pretty late.