The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation claims that it is keeping a check on over-charging by contractors of paid parking lots in the city, but the practice seems to continue unabated. Two paid parking lots situated across the MC’s head office in Sector 17 fleece residents on a daily basis by issuing clipped parking slips that do not show the actual parking rates.
Also, since there are no display boards mentioning the charges, people using the parking lots are made to pay the fee the attendants
One of these parking lots, situated opposite the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) office, is dedicated to two-wheelers. In the last several months, attendants here have over-charged many people by issuing passes that are clipped from one side. As a result, the parking rates displayed at the bottom are missing. While the actual rate of parking for two-wheelers is Rs 2 for four hours, the attendants mostly charge Rs 5 — and sometimes even Rs 10 — from the users who often are unaware of the actual amount to be paid.
The situation is similar in the adjacent parking lot dedicated to four-wheelers. Norms are openly flouted in these parking lots, which do not have boards displaying parking rates, despite being located right outside the MC office.
According to city residents, the problem of over-charging is prevalent throughout the city and the MC should deal with the problem on a priority basis. Last year, the MC Finance & Contracts Committee had decided to increase the penalty imposed on parking contractors found over-charging to as much as Rs 10,000.
Sub Divisional Engineer (Headquarters) Kashmira Singh admitted that he has received complaints about over-charging at parking lots. “The problem of over-charging exists. We conduct raids and fine contractors whenever we can. A complaint was received on Saturday regarding over-charging at a parking lot opposite the RLA office. The auctioning of various parking lots will take place on Wednesday, after which the problem is expected to be resolved,” he said.
Auction for 15 parking lots
According to MC officials, 15 parking lots (out of the city’s 24) will be auctioned on Wednesday. As many as 16 parking lots were lying vacant with bids being invited before their auction. However, one of these did not receive a bid. Two auctions have failed earlier owing to a deadlock between the contractors and MC officials over the issue of service charge, which the contractors were asked to pay retrospectively.