Having failed to auction the booths at the modern, air-conditioned fish, meat, and poultry market at Sector 41, the finance and contract committee (F&CC) has now decided to try again after cutting down the minimum price for the bids.
The decision on slashing the reserve price of the booths will be taken during a meeting scheduled for May 15.
F&CC member Subhash Chawala said the lowering of the prices has become necessary in view of the losses the municipal corporation (MC) is bearing as the market has been lying vacant since 2009.
The MC has already conducted four successful auctions of the booths so far. During the latest bidding process on April 16, the MC failed to get buyers for the 20 booths put on auction despite having slashed the reserve price by 30%.
In the last auction, the minimum monthly reserved licence fee for 12 booths measuring 21.21 square metres each was Rs 21,500 per booth, while it was Rs 19,500 per booth for six booths measuring 19.02 square metres each.
For the two whole-sale booths measuring 39.51 square metres each, the reserved monthly licence fee was Rs 39,600 per booth.
Surender Kumar, one of the bidders, said, "Why would people take the shops on such a high rent when the market is not even established? Moreover, the MC has forbidden slaughter in the shops. Also, the shops are being leased for a period of three years and by the time the market is established, we would have to look for other shops."
On November 28 last year, taking a serious note of the municipal corporation's "disregard" towards the non-operational fish market, the Punjab and Haryana high court issued contempt notices to the Chandigarh home secretary and the municipal commissioner as well.
The court had come down heavily on the authorities for "adopting a lackadaisical attitude".