The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun a crackdown on contractors who are overcharging motorists at the civic body's pay and park zones.
In its meeting on Tuesday, the civic works committee not only blacklisted a contractor who has been overcharging motorists, but also ordered the administration to put up boards listing the official rates at these parking lots within a week.
In April last year, Hindustan Times had exposed in a series of articles how the contractors appointed by the BMC to run its parking lots were overcharging motorists. The official rate card, which is mandatory at parking lots, was either placed in a corner where no one could see it, or was unavailable.
"We have blacklisted Prime Parking Facilities, the company which was given the contract for the area below JJ flyover up to Crawford market. They were charging Rs50 to Rs60 per hour for a four-wheeler, while the rate is Rs10 to Rs15. It had also appointed a sub-contractor, which is not permitted," said Captain Selvan R Tamil, chairman of the committee.
The committee also observed that contractors are not putting up rate-card signboards. "We have ordered that the official rate card be displayed at all pay and park stations," Tamil said.
He said that he visited the JJ flyover site incognito and was charged Rs60 for one hour of parking. When he asked for the official rate card, he was mistreated and threatened.
"If the corporation is really serious about the issue, it should make contractors follow all the terms and conditions of the tender," said Mohammed Afzal, a transport activist. He said civic officers ignore a complaint about overcharging by asking for a receipt. "A contractor who overcharges you will never give you a receipt."
When contacted, RD Singh, deputy chief engineer (traffic) said the committee's orders will be followed.