Asserting itself, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation on Thursday decided to cancel the contracts of parking lots outside Elante mall and Sukhna Lake within a month, while rejecting the three months’ notice given by the contractors in question. The security deposits of both the contractors also stand forfeited.
On Wednesday, both the contractors had relinquished their contracts, while giving notices to MC as per clause 35 of the agreement. As per the clause, they were to get three more months to run the lots if they were allowed to cede their contracts. On the other hand, the MC is not satisfied with the contractors’ reply to the showcause notice as they have admitted having failed to manage the lots properly and thus decided to cancel the contracts. Also, the civic body would forfeit the contractors’ security deposit, which is nearly Rs 10 lakh for the lot outside Elante mall and Rs 3.5 lakh for the one at Sukhna Lake.
Hindustan Times through a series of reports has highlighted how people are being fleeced through overcharging at the parking lots being managed by private contractors.
Additional commissioner of MC, Sarita Malik, said the civic body would not tolerate fleecing of public at the hands of parking contractors. “Moreover, in their reply to the show-cause notice, the contractors have admitted that they failed to manage the parking lots as per the terms and conditions. We will be terminating their contracts in a month,” she said.
Nominated councillor and member of Finance and Contract Committee, MC, Surinder Bahga, said that the MC should have done it much earlier as contractor outside Elante had been challaned 13 times for overcharging in the past one year, while the one outside Sukhna Lake was challaned eight times in the same period. “We will make sure that in the next finance panel, clause of cancellation should be included in the agreement for violations,” he said.
VIGILANCE TEAM TAKES AWAY RECORD
A team of the UT vigilance department, probing the overcharging at parking lots, on Thursday took away all the documents pertaining to lots from office of municipal corporation in Sector 17.
One of the team members said, “We want to probe the tender process; why the penalty is meagre and whether or not the MC received penalty on time. We are trying to find out whether there is a nexus between MC officials and contractors, as despite being fined, the latter continued to overcharge.”
SSP (vigilance) Maneesh Chaudhary, said, “We are doing it on priority basis as interests of the common man are linked. We are trying to find out why the MC till date has not filed an FIR against the contractors for overcharging.”
On Wednesday, UT adviser-cum-chief vigilance officer Vijay Kumar Dev marked a vigilance probe into the matter.