In a blow to Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) councillors, the UT administration is all set to increase the paid parking rates.
The MC had rejected the agenda on increasing the rates thrice in the past six months. Sources say the administration is expected to issue a notification for the same any time now.
In November, the administration issued a 10-day showcause notice to the MC for not taking a decision on increasing parking rates. However, the MC, in its House meeting held on November 30, rejected the agenda for the third time.
UT home secretary Anurag Aggarwal told HT that the matter was under consideration and the administration would issue directions to the MC any time to increase the rates.
CONG BLAMES BJP
Former mayor and Chandigarh congress chief Pardeep Chhabra said: “The BJP-led administration was hell-bent on increasing the parking rates. The administration wants to put additional financial burden on city residents. First it imposed house tax, then increased valur added tax (VAT) and excise duty, and now it is increasing parking rates.”
A senior MC official said: “The motive is to streamline the vehicle parking system in the city and to put an end to complaints of fleecing by contractors. Moreover, it is not a tax, but a fee for better services. Some of our political representatives still believe in freebies and subsidies. Our attempts to rationalise the parking tariff had been repeatedly thwarted. In a city like Chandigarh, people do not have any problem in paying hiked fee.”
Of the existing 26 parking lots in the city, 10 have not been auctioned for the past three months, inflicting a loss of `5 crore on the MC.
Opposing the administration’s move, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said: “The administration is completely ignoring the civic body and its elected representatives. It has already burdened city residents with house tax and now it is revising parking rates.”