Even after having a provision on cancelling the contract of an erring contractor, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities seem to be favouring the Elante mall parking contractor in Industrial Area, who has been found fleecing visitors by overcharging from them.
According to the contract, the civic body can terminate the licence deed of the parking contractor before the expiry date on a month notice, or pay up the money equal to the licence fee for a month.
Surprisingly, the MC has only fined the contractor and has charged Rs 1.5 lakh in the past 15 months. However, well aware of the fact that people are being fleeced every day, and the provision to cancel the contract is there, the civic body has not been able to tighten the noose around the contractor.
Even after repeated attempts MC additional commissioner Sarita Malik could not be contacted.
HT in its report had highlighted how the parking contractor, Lal Chand, continues to charge Rs 20 instead of the mandated Rs 10 for four-wheelers, while Rs 10 instead of mandated Rs 5 for twowheelers.
The contractor has already siphoned off around Rs 40 lakh by charging double the actual amount in the past 15 months.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said, “The MC officers are being soft on the contractor. We have decided to raise the issue in the House meeting on Tuesday, and will demand registration of an extortion case against him. Also, when provision is there, why his contract hasn’t been cancelled till date?
“Even though MC was aware of his misdeeds, he was given extension for one more year in November last. The contractor does not even spare the councillor. Now, if the MC officials can’t do anything, let us pass a resolution regarding criminal case against him and cancel his contract with immediate effect. I am sure once the case is registered, it will serve as an example for others also,”said Jannat Jahan, BSP councillor.
On other hand, former mayor Subhash Chawla said, “Though the MC had fixed Rs 5 as the parking fee 17 years ago, the auction money has been raised by 10% since then. These days, even beggars don’t take Rs 5. It is high time the MC increases the entry fee to earn some revenue.”
Lal Chand was allotted the contract for Rs 51 lakh for a period of one year in 2013. His contract was extended in November 2014 for another year.
Every day, around 600 fourwheelers and an equal number of two-wheelers are parked at Elante mall, and he earns around Rs 1.8 lakh from four-wheelers and Rs 90,000 from two-wheelers every month. According to the total estimate, he has earned Rs 27 lakh from four-wheelers and Rs 13 lakh from two-wheelers in the past 15 months.
When contacted, Lal Chand said, “All my attendants have been instructed not to overcharge. However, since I am not keeping well for the past few days, and in one or two cases, they might have overcharged. Being a law abiding citizen, I follow all rules set by the civic body.”