January 21, 2021 10:27:48 am
Residents should brace themselves for hourly parking rates from February 1, as parking contractors have been asked to introduce smart parking facilities by this month.
Until now, flat rates of Rs 5 for two wheelers and Rs 10 for four wheelers have been in force in the city. There are a total of 89 paid parking lots in the city, demarcated into two zones. While one contractor manages 57 lots in zone 1, the other manages 32 lots in zone 2.
“One parking contractor has introduced some smart parking facilities while the other one is in the process. One final inspection will be conducted on January 31 and if everything is as per agreement, then hourly rates will be in place from next month,” said K K Yadav, commissioner, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, while talking to The Indian Express.
Smart parking facilities include boom barriers, e-ticketing machines etc. At some parking lots, e-ticketing machines and boom barriers have already been introduced.
The charges will be free for the first ten minutes for pick and drop. From 10 minutes to four hours, charges will be Rs 10 for four wheelers and Rs 5 for two wheelers. After four hours, up to 12 hours the rates will double, as four wheelers will be charged Rs 20 and two-wheelers will be charged Rs 10.
Congress councillors alleged that the move is a way to burden city residents. “In the name of smart parking, they just want to mint money. Is e ticketing machine or barrier a smart parking? This is just a basic thing that needs to be given. Smart parking is something in which residents will get to know the occupancy of the parking lot before-hand, bookings on app etc,” said Devinder Singh Babla, Congress councillor and leader of opposition.
Exemption announced to parking contractors
In November last year parking contractors had threatened to surrender the parking lots, following which the Municipal Corporation had then announced quick exemption and had given them discount on license fee for the months of September, October, and November.
The House had previously rejected the discount to be given to them.
After the officers had conveyed the decision about companies having to pay 100 percent license fee for September, October and November as situation of COVID had normalised, taken in the House previously, the contractors had sent a notice for reconsideration, stating that if the House was firm they may not be able to run the lots.
Citing that coaching institutes and malls which are big revenue generators for them were closed, contractors had said that it was not possible for them to pay the complete license fee.
“It is practically not possible for us to deposit 100 per cent license fee as desired by the MC, Chandigarh, therefore you are requested kindly not to increase the rates beyond 60 per cent of the actual license fee as number of families of our employees are dependent on this parking contract and we are somehow just managing the expenses and salaries of our employees,” said one of the two contractors.
“If incase 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 would 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 generated monthly from operating the sites with the issues mentioned above in current situation, and if it comes out more than the License fee desired by the Corporation, we will pay the difference and the said amount as license fee from that month onward,” the communique had further stated.
The Municipal Corporation had already waived off complete license fee from March 16, 2020 to May 31, 2020 and allowed deposit of only 35 per cent of license fee from June 1 to August 31 for 32 parking lots (Zone 1 contractor) and 45 per cent deposit of actual allotted license fee for 57 parking lots for the 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 licensee of 32 parking lots which is Ram Sundar Prasad Singh be allowed monthly license fee as for month of September, 45 per cent of the actual allotted license fee, for month of October, 50 per cent of actual allotted license fee, and for month of November 55 per cent of the actual allotted license fee. It was also said that the licensee of 57 other paid parking lots be allowed to deposit 55 per cent of actual allotted license fee for month of September, 60 per cent for actual allotted license fee for October, and 65 per cent of actual allotted license fee for November.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines