Fines totalling lakhs have had no effect on the parking contractors outside Elante Mall and Sukhna Lake, and on the municipal corporation that has failed to cancel their contract despite violations.
As per the contract, the civic body can terminate the licence deed of the parking contractor before the expiry date on a month’s notice, or pay money equal to the licence fee for a month, but civic body has limited the penalty to fines.
Significantly, even as the contractor outside Elante Mall has already siphoned off around `40 lakh by charging double the actual amount in the past 15 months, MC has only fined the contractor `1.5 lakh.
During a reality check on Thursday, this correspondent found them still charging double the prescribed amount for parking of vehicles. Besides, staff at both the lots were not using e-ticketing machines, and were conveniently issuing torn tickets to visitors to ostensibly keep them in the dark.
MC additional commissioner Sarita Malik did not respond to calls even after repeated attempts.
When the HT team confronted the parking staff outside Elante Mall for charging `20 instead of the
prescribed `10, attendant Raju said, “I thought it was a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and we charge `25 for it.” When asked, why he demanded `20 only then, he apologised and offered `10 back.
As the team retreated, he was seen demanding `20 from every car owner.
A visitor, Suresh Kumar, said, “I even went to the police to lodge a complaint against overcharging, but they told me go to the MC, where I was not even given a hearing. This is sheer extortion that MC is turning a blind eye to.”
When contacted, the parking contractor, Lal Chand, said, “I have repeatedly told my employees not to overcharge, but will look into it.”
Parking lot at Sukhna Lake
A visit to the parking lot outside Sukhna Lake revealed that the attendants were charging `10 instead of `5 from all four-wheeler owners. Some visitors said the fleecing has been common practice for months.
When confronted, attendant Vicky said it was by mistake as the staff concerned was a newbie. Pardeep Kumar, contractor at the parking lot outside Sukhna Lake, said, “I was not in city for the past several days, but will look into it.”