The orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to turn the parking lot on the Ferozepur road stretch into paid parking has forced the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to slash the rates of unauctioned parking lots by 50% or more.
While the MC is claiming that the decision is a result of the occupancy re-survey done by the tehbazaari wing,sources claimed that it was the hurry to dispose of the sites that had made MC take this step.
The next date of HC hearing is August 2 while the MC has kept the next auction of nine sites on July 18 at its Sarabha Nagar Zone D office.
The MC had divided the entire Ferozepur road into 13 sites out of which only four were auctioned successfully on June 26 while the remaining nine sites got no response from the bidders who termed the sites overrated.
Reportedly,the contractors have already been handed over possession of four auctioned sites at midnight on Friday and from Saturday paid parking started at four sites,namely New Court road to Feroze Gandhi Market Road,Park Plaza to Mehar Singh Saw Mill,Pathcare labs to Aarti Chowk and Aarti Chowk to Gurudev Nagar road.
As per the MC orders,while four-wheelers have to pay Rs 10 for first hour and Rs 20 for second hour,vehicles will be towed off after two hours and will be released on the payment of a fine of Rs 1,000. Shopkeepers will be issued a special token of Rs 100 per day. A scooter-rider has to pay Rs 10 and a cyclist Rs 5 for unlimited hours.
The controversial site number 12 (from Aarti Chowk to Madhok Complex) has once again raised eyebrows as its price from Rs 57,60,000 has been reduced to Rs 28,00,000. The site lies exactly in front of the home of former SAD MLA Harish Rai Dhanda and contractors alleged that the MC has intentionally overrated the site to save parking space in front of Dhandas home.
When contacted,Isha Kalia,additional commissioner,MC,said,Earlier,we finalised reserved prices as per occupancy factor like how many cars the site can accommodate. But after auction on June 26,our tehbazaari team did a re-survey in three days of how many visitors actually visit the site in a day. We tried to get the estimated number of footfall and prices have been re-adjusted accordingly. The field survey found that sites were having high capacity but people visiting were quite less due to which prices have been reduced to make sites affordable for contractors.
Naveen Malhotra,superintendent,tehbazaari team,said the MC would try to dispose of sites on July 18 to present a clear picture in front of HC on August 2.