Residents again paid the hiked rates of parking as Arya Toll Infra Limited took charge of all the 26 paid parking lots in the city on Thursday. The Municipal Corporation took charge of the parking lots on Wednesday and cut the rates to almost half that Arya was charging. Meanwhile, vehicle owners claimed that the employees of Arya refused to accept their parking passes, issued by the company last month.
“Rs 10 or Rs 20 is not a concern until it is the daily expenditure merely on parking. There are many people who had passes for parking previously. Now if Arya refuses to accept that pass, not only does the money goes to waste but they have to pay parking fees again daily,” said Harminder Singh, who came to the Sector 17 parking lot. He was issued the parking pass last month.
“Since I have a store nearby, it is compulsory for us to come and park at the parking lot. Earlier, they made a pass for Rs 300. Now they are charging Rs 10 for two-wheelers. That is fine but it should not go beyond that. Then it will definitely create problems for the people and the firm as well,” said Manju, a two-wheeler owner, who parked her vehicle at the Sector 17 parking.
Mahesh, owner of a four-wheeler, said, “The rates have been increased now. When MC was in charge of parking, the prices were almost half. Now this firm is charging double the money unnecessarily.”
As Arya had failed to pay its pnding licence fee of nearly Rs 4 crore, its contract was cancelled by the MC. The residents were once again charged Rs 10 for two-wheelers and Rs 20 for four-wheelers for four hours of parking followed by a further increase based on the number of hours.
On Wednesday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the cancellation order issued by the MC against Arya Toll Infra Limited. So, the firm took charge of the parking lots again on Thursday. And, the system changed again. On Wednesday, it was Rs 10 for four-wheelers but on Thursday, it went up to Rs 20.
The employees of Arya at the Sector 17 multilevel parking lot, however, said that their rates have not increased. “It is just that MC undertook parking for a day and now people are saying that the rates have been hiked. People are least bothered about who is in charge of parking. They are merely concerned about the money. If from today, the parking becomes free, then there will be no problem,” said an employee.
Meanwhile, the Sector 22 Main Market parking supervisor, Brijesh, said, “If people come to park their vehicles, we stop them for the ticket but they go out ignoring us.” He further stated that around 10,000 vehicles are parked at the Sector 22 parking lot every day. “We face lots of problems as more than half the parking slots are occupied by vendors,” added Brijesh.
Sandeep Bhora, representative of Arya Toll Infra Limited, said, “We are accepting the passes which were made by our company. People, who are complaining that passes were not accepted by parking attendants, are not right. We issued clear instructions to our staff members for accepting all the passes made by the company prior to the termination of contract, which was stayed by the High Court yesterday. We have not received any complaint from the public that their passes were not accepted today.”