The municipal corporation has got the stick from a consumer court for backtracking at the last minute in providing space booked for a pre-wedding party to a resident.
Holding the MC deficient in services, the consumer disputes redressal forum directed it to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 along with a refund of Rs 562 to Sector-44 resident Amar Singh Ghuman, who was forced to make alternative booking as the MC said the public park booked by him were needed for a religious programme.
Ghuman had moved the consumer court in April this year. He said he had, on August 17, 2012, booked a park in Sector 22C for a 'ladies sangeet' as part of the wedding celebrations of his son for October 15-16, 2012, after paying Rs 562 as the fee. He had also booked a hall and rooms in a nearby temple for the stay of guests, for which he had paid Rs 8,750, said the complaint.
"On October 13, when I visited the booked park, to my utter surprise the park was in possession of Ram Leela Committee, Sector 22, Chandigarh. The area had already been covered with tents for Ram Leela, and I approached the concerned person and requested them to give me possession of the park/ground in the morning hours on October 15, 2012, but he flatly refused to do so," said the complainant.
With no alternative, Ghuman immediately booked two halls at Gulati Bhawan, Sector 33A, thereby shifting the whole venue from Shree Satyanarayan Mandir, Sector 22, to Gulati Bhawan, Sector 33A, at the last minute.
The MC, in it reply, submitted, "The complainant never brought the fact regarding Ram Leela neither did he meet the booking in-charge to sort out the matter; otherwise, alternative space could have been provided to him… The permission for Ram Leela is granted by the district magistrate, Chandigarh, [which] is not within the purview of the MC and hence, the MC is not responsible for any loss alleged by the complainant. Also, the district magistrate did not ask for the list of parks which were already booked in the month of October from them."
Unimpressed by the MC plea, the consumer forum observed in August 22 order, "As this is an administrative matter, and right of booking cannot be left open in the hands of two different authorities, it is for the MC and administration to get their act in order to decide who is entitled to give permission for use of public places and who is to be informed that the place is pre-booked, so that the same place is not booked in favour of another and consumers are not harassed."