DEPUTY COMMISSIONER Mukesh Kumar Ahuja on Tuesday introduced paid parking in three most important sectors of Panchkula. The parking lots, which were initially with the Municipal Corporation, have now been taken over by the District Child Welfare Council which estimates to mop up around Rs 96 lakh per month.
The paid parking project has been implemented at the markets of sectors 8, 9 and 10. The parking charge has been kept at Rs 5 for a two-wheeler and Rs 10 for a four-wheeler.
The DC had recently sent a letter to the Municipal Corporation’s office, asking them to hand over these parking lots to the District Child Welfare Council. It was said there was a fund crunch in the child welfare department. The sectors, housing one of the biggest and most frequented markets of the city, are estimated to earn around Rs 96 lakh per month.
However, the city residents have called the move unjustified and demanded a rollback. “It is unfair to the public of Panchkula when the MC had promised not to make it paid. They had also said that at least till the time the parking lots are not equipped with bathrooms, sitting shelter and water availability, they will not be made paid,” said S K Nayar, president of the Citizen Welfare Association of the city.
It was in early November when former MC Commissioner Rajesh Jogpal had appointed several staff members to assist the parking areas of these markets. After a hue and cry, the Commissioner had claimed that paid parking was not on the agenda. He had said, “The parking facilities will remain free till an elected house of the MC decides to make it paid. The step has only been taken to help the people of the city by regularising parking spaces. We are not just regularising parking but also upgrading these spaces where public bathrooms, a shelter and availability of RO water will be provided.”
The District Child Welfare Council authorities have floated a tender for appointing staff at these parkings. Currently, the staff that had been employed by the MC has been taken on roll by the council. As many as 12 men, four each at a single parking, have been deployed at three parkings. Although no formal budget for the same has been prepared, an amount of Rs 14,000 was being given to each of these 12 men working for the MC.
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