The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pulled up the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities for not taking appropriate action to recover R4.41 crore as licence fees from car parking agents and licensees.
In a letter to municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed, the CAG has asked why the civic authorities have not issued any ‘distress warrant’ against the defaulting agencies and licensees.
According to KMC records, seven car parking societies owe R 2.36 crore to the civic body as licence fees for car parking lots allotted to them in 2007.
According to sources in the car parking department, all the seven cooperatives were found to be fake and were allotted fee parking lots through tenders during the Left Front regime in 2007.
“We had issued notices to these seven cooperatives demanding the outstanding dues but the notices were returned. We found out that these were fake cooperatives with misleading addresses,” an official told HT on condition of anonymity.
The KMC commissioner is yet to reply to the queries made by the CAG.
However, it is learnt that the car parking department had written a letter to the registrar of cooperative societies seeking the names of the directors of these seven fake cooperatives societies to initiate action as per the KMC Act, 1980.
“There was no response from the office of the registrar of cooperative societies and thus we were forced to declare the Rs2.36 crore a bad debt,” a source in the car parking department told HT.
These seven fake cooperatives are — Anandadhara Fee Car Parking Cooperative which owes R21.74 lakh; Dapriwala Banijya Udyog ( R33.97 lakh); Moitri Fee Car Parking Cooperative which owes R30.24 lakh; Mega Fee Car Parking Cooperative owes Rs 11.46 lakh; Nabadaya Fee Car Parking Cooperative owes R95.98 lakh; Supreme Fee Car Parking Cooperative owes R21.94 lakh and Woodburn Fee Car Parking Cooperative ( R 20.71 lakh).
Immediately after Left Front came to power in KMC in mid 2005, it was decided that no fee car parking lots would be allotted to individuals and only cooperative societies would be eligible to participate in the tenders.
Accordingly, in 2007, 29 cooperatives were allocated different fee parking zones within the KMC’s jurisdiction.
Apart from them, another eight prominent licensees, including Tata Steel, the income tax department, Desun hospital, two electronic news channels owe R52 lakh to KMC as exclusive car parking licence fees.