It seems that the district administration authorities have turned a blind eye to the monopolistic and dictatorial attitude of parking contractors, who are fleecing local residents by charging them five times more than the normal rates.
Even a quick visit to government hospitals or markets leaves wallets much lighter, with visitors to Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital, and Mata Kaushalya Hospital being the worst hit.
As per the license deed, made last year in November, cyclists have to pay `1 per visit, while those driving scooters or motorcycles and cars have to pay `2 and `3, respectively. However, contractors are charging `5 for bicycles, `10 for scooters and `15 for cars.
Repeated requests to hospital authorities to address the issue seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as no action was taken against the violators.
Paramvir Singh, a local visitor to Rajindra hospital, alleged he had complained to the authorities concerned many times, informing him about the exploitation of poor people at the hands of contractors.
“The insensitive attitude of the authorities can be judged from the fact that till date, there are no display boards in the hospital premises carrying rates listed in the agreement,” he alleged.
Locals report that the same practice is followed at the parking lots at AC market and bus stand, where workers employed by the contractors are often 'very offensive' towards vehicle owners.
“They not only charge too much, but also speak and behave in a rude manner. One cannot even confront them for fleecing, for they enjoy the patronage of politicians and civic officials,” alleged Guru Nanak Nagar resident Gurdeep Singh.
Besides, in spite of paying more money, there is still no assurance of the vehicles' safety as parking times are only till 8pm.
Residents also complain that while many high-end market complexes have come up in the city, they do not have adequate parking facilities, which are limited to AC market, city center complex, Omaxe Mall and mid town plaza parking.
However, as these experience heavy rush, contractors make vehicles park in the middle of the road.
Deputy commissioner GK Singh could not be contacted in spite of repeated attempts.
The administration should immediately take steps to end the monopoly of contractors, who are operating at the behest of influential people
Sumit Kumar, resident of Gurbaksh Colony
People are forced to pay hefty amounts for parking. For how much longer they are going to suffer this monopolistic attitude remains to be seen
Rohit Kumar, resident of Bishan Nagar
The authorities seem to be slumbering as despite repeated complaints, concerned officials have not paid any heed
Dharmjit Singh Sandhu, resident of Anand Nagar
Contractors fail to ensure of safety of vehicles, as their only purpose is to get money. Vehicle thefts and pilferage of petrol from parked vehicles are often reported.
Karan Bawa, a resident of Urban Estate: