DISILLUSIONED WITH the lacklustre response to its pre-paid parking scheme, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) is planning to offload the project to private parties.
In a move that could further hike movie-going costs the Corporation is also mulling over either a takeover of lots at the 17-odd cinema theatres with on-site parking facilities or charging the owners a percentage of fees collected from motorists. Sources in the IMC revealed that the Market Department has mapped out a proposal to hand over all pre-paid parking lots to a single contractor probably in return for a fixed fee.
The proposal is slated to come up at a meeting of the Market Committee to be held at 4 pm on Monday and, if approved, will be forwarded to the Mayor-in-Council (MiC).
Patterned after a similar system in Hyderabad, the pre-paid system allowed vehicle owners to use any of the IMC-owned lots in return for annual, bi-annual, quarterly or monthly payment.
Although it was touted as a panacea, the pre-paid system failed to enthuse commuters who bemoaned the extortionate charges as well as the small parking ‘footprint’. After months of hardsell the Corporation finally appears to have resigned itself to the failure of the project and is now trying to cut its losses by handing over the pre-paid apparatus to a private player.
The Market Committee has also mapped out a plan to charge cinema theatre owners for in-house parking lots. The proposal dates back to the tenure of former Municipal Commissioner P Narhari who discovered that the MP Municipal Corporation Act, 1956, vested the power of operating parking lots solely with the IMC and forbade even privately owned land from being used for stationing vehicles.
Narhari even initiated action against a private parking lot being operated near the Treasure Island mall and instructed the Market Department to prepare a list of all theatre owners with parking lots. He was, however, transferred out before the matter could be pursued further.