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Chandigarh: Contractors threaten to surrender parking lots, civic body woos them back

After the officers conveyed that the companies will have to pay 100 per cent licence fee for last three months as the situation of COVID had normalised, the contractors sent a notice for reconsideration and said that if they are firm on their decision, they won't be able to run it.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | November 28, 2020 4:50:53 am
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh parking contractors, Chandigarh parking lots, Chandigarh news, Punjab news, Indian express newsMayor Rajbala Malik with MC commissioner KK Yadav alongwith other officials during the House meeting at MC Building, Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Friday. (Express photo)

As parking contractors threatened to surrender the parking lots, the Municipal Corporation announced quick exemption and gave discount on licence fee for the months of September, October and November to them.

The discount for these three months was given by the General House Friday despite the House rejecting the agenda item in the last House meeting.

After the officers conveyed the decision of the previous House meeting to the companies that they will have to pay 100 per cent licence fee for September, October and November as the situation of COVID had normalised, the contractors sent a notice for reconsideration and said that if they are firm on their decision, they won’t be able to run it.

The contractors stated that coaching institutes, basically the educational hubs and malls, are big revenue generators but they were closed. Therefore, it wasn’t possible for them to give complete licence fee.

“It is practically not possible for us to deposit 100% licence fee as desired by the MC, Chandigarh. Therefore, you are requested not to increase beyond 60% of the actual licence fee as number of families of our employees are dependant on this parking contract and we are just managing the expenses and salaries of our employees,” one of the two contractors said.

“In case the department is firm on its decision of 100 per cent license fee, we may like to submit that it will not be feasible for us to operate the said parking lot at this rate until the situation is normalised. We also like to submit that the department may operate the said parking sites for a month using our staff in order to know the revenue regenerated monthly from operating the said parking sites with the issues mentioned above in current situation and if it comes out more than the licence fee desired by the corporation, we shall pay the difference and will pay the said amount as licence fee from that month onward,” the contractors said in a letter to the MC.

BJP councillor Arun Sood said that officers had already taken the discounted licence fee for these three months and then brought it up in the General House.

“After contractors gave the discounted fee then they brought the agenda to the House. Since we rejected it in last meeting, now the plea by contractor is that at a very short notice they have been asked to pay complete fee for those months for which they have already paid discounted fee,” Sood said.

He added, “They have threatened to surrender and if at all they do despite this exemption, MC will have to deploy it’s own staff.”

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that this was unfair and this way all the companies will start asking for discounts.

“Is the financial position of MC really nice that they are offering discounts? They are burdening people with taxes and offering discounts to companies,” he said.

The other parking contractor in his request said that “the practice being adopted by MCC is unfair and objectionable”.

As he already paid discounted fee for these months, another contractor said, “At this juncture, since the situation is beyond our control due to COVID-19 and as of today, multiplex and coaching Institute are closed. There is limited activity and tourism due to continued prevalence and once again increasing number of Covid cases in Chandigarh. We are on average collecting only 50% or less revenue on a daily basis as compared to the pre-Covid days as multiplex and coaching centres are the main source of income. This may be got inspected at your end too.”

He added, “Under protest and without prejudice, I have submitted my licence fee at 50% of the actual licence fee for the month of November 2020 on November 6, 2020, with MC. In any case, I will not be able to run the parking lot at 100% licence fee in view of the COVID-19 situation till there is complete unlock and all activities resume.”

Municipal Corporation had already waived off complete license fee from March 16, 2020 to May 31, 2020 and allowed deposit of only 35 percent of license fee from June 1 to August 31 for 32 parking lots(Zone 1 contractor) and 45 percent deposit of actual allotted license fee for 57parking lots for another contractor for the same period.

A committee had recommended that since “position is not completely normal as it used to be before COVID 19”, thus the licencee of 32 parking lots, which is Ram Sundar Prasad Singh, be allowed monthly licence fee as for month of September, 45 percent of the actual allotted licence fee, for month of October, 50 per cent of actual allotted licence fee and for month of November, 55 per cent of actual allotted licence fee.

It was also said that the licensee of 57 other paid parking lots be allowed to deposit 55 percent of actual allotted license fee for month of September, 60 percent for actual allotted licence fee for October and 65 per cent of actual allotted licence fee for November.

The agenda was brought in the last meeting where the House had rejected the demand for discounts in September, October and November.

But the companies wanted reconsideration, following which the House resolved to give discount.

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