A new controversy over free parking stickers is set to get parked at the gates of the municipal corporation’s office. The newly-elected mayor Poonam Sharma is at the centre of the row involving the hoarding of these passes. With no guidelines and rules prescribed on the distribution and utilisation of free parking passes, the mayor has demanded 200 complimentary parking stickers, against 100 that the previous mayor had got last year. With the going rate for a paid pass for a four-wheeler to park at any lot in the city going at Rs 2,812 annually, the mayor is virtually asking for freebies worth Rs 5.6 lakh.
A two-wheeler yearly annual parking pass for the city costs Rs 1,612 a month. This demand for free parking passes is part of the agenda of the House meeting on January 23 and is certain to be passed as besides herself, the mayor has proposed to double the number of free passes for the senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor as well to 50 each from last year’s 25.
All councillors will now be getting 15 stickers against five previously. The MC commissioner will get 40 stickers against 20 last year. Additional joint commissioners will get 10 instead of two. The executive officer, not entitled for any, will get two.
Interestingly, there is no policy on the use of stickers. There is just an agreement with the parking contractor that says that all councillors are entitled to five parking stickers.
BJP councillor Arun Sood said, “The proposal is illegal. Can the mayor explain what the criteria adopted for deciding on 200 free passes?”
Another BJP councillor Satinder Singh said, “What will officials use these stickers for, when they have own passes on official vehicles.”
Mayor Poonam Sharma said, “The agenda will be brought in a House meeting on January 23. Before this happens, we will discuss the issue with councillors.”