A day after the municipal corporation (MC) issued show-cause notices to the parking contractors outside Elante Mall and Sukhna Lake for overcharging visitors, both relinquished their contracts on Wednesday, while giving notices to MC as per clause 35 of the agreement.
According to the clause, they will get three more months to run the lots if they are allowed to cede their contracts.
Now the ball is in the court of the MC. The civic body can either accept the surrender or terminate the contractors’ licences on a month’s notice by paying money equal to the licence fee for a month or allowing the contractors to manage the lots for an equal period.
While the contract of the parking lot outside Elante Mall, managed by Pritpal Singh, is due to expire in November this year, the contract of the parking contractor at Sukhna Lake, Amarjit Singh, will expire in September.
The notices came in wake of several HT reports highlighting how people were being overcharged for parking of vehicles at the said lots being managed by private contractors.
Meanwhile, replying to the show-cause notice, Pritpal Singh said, “I was out of Chandigarh for last two months. Therefore, I appointed a manager, but he failed in his duty. Now, I am back in Chandigarh, will supervise the lot personally and will not allow overcharging.”
Amarjit Singh also cited the same reason.
However, MC is far from convinced with their responses.
“First of all, we are not satisfied with the replies to the show-cause notices. How can they escape with such answers? I will hold a meeting with the MC commissioner on Thursday and make sure that these contractors are blacklisted and their contract is terminated within a month,” said additional commissioner of MC, Sarita Malik.
The contractor outside Elante Mall has been challaned 13 times for overcharging in the past one year, and has paid a fine of Rs 1.7 lakh, while the contractor outside Sukhna Lake has been challaned eight times in the same period and fined Rs 59,000 till date.
CONTRACTOR ADMITS TO OVERCHARGING
While speaking to HT, Amarjeet Singh, contractor of the parking lot outside Sukhna Lake, said, “We were helpless as it is difficult for us to supervise the staff throughout the day. We are embarrassed due to the reports in Hindustan Times.”