Parking mafia has gone rampant in the industrial city of Ludhiana, that too under the nose of the municipal corporation. Bhadaur House and books market are some of the most-visited areas in proximity to the MC headquarters, but have become a den where visitors area being fleeced.
Bhadaur House, which is not even 150 metres from the MC building, has several hotels and shops, but parking area has not been demarcated as a paid lot by the MC. The mafia operates from 9am till evening and is being backed by the area’s market association.
Without the MC’s permission, the mafia fleeces people who park their vehicles in the parking. They charge Rs 20 to Rs 30 from people who park their four-wheelers in the parking lot.
Every Sunday, the mafia makes triple the amount than normal days as huge number of people visit the nearby AC market famous for economical clothing. However, there have been reports of misbehaviour with visitors by the people collecting parking fee.
Though the MC is making most of the parking lots across the city paid, it has forgotten its own vicinity. The tehbazari wing seems to be sleeping with even senior officials silent on the issue.
Officials of Zone A, which is the MC headquarters, are clearly responsible for not taking action against the mafia operating in their area.
Gurdeep Singh, who collects parking fee, said he was paid Rs 3,500 per month by the market association.
Interestingly, rehris that are stationed illegally in the area also have to pay Rs 200 a day to the mafia.
Gurdeep added that by collecting money from visitors, the parking was managed easily.
Despite the mafia operating so close to the MC headquarters, zone A chief Devinder Singh was surprised to know that fee was being charged at the public parking.
However, as per the MC, the association was not authorised to collect money from anyone for parking vehicles in the area. Singh said it was completely illegal to charge fee at the public parking.
At the books market also, private individuals were fleecing the visitors by charging parking fee.