In what can only be described as the municipal corporation getting its hands into a doomed venture, the civic body is running up a loss of Rs 5.1 lakh in its attempts to maintain the newly-launched multi-level parking in Sector 17. Sample this: The MC is paying the contractor Rs 6.2 lakh a month for operations and maintenance, or around Rs 20,000 a day. With the lot averaging a collection of Rs 3,000 a day during its first month of operations (Rs 90,000 a month) that goes to the MC account, the civic body is bleeding money. MC officers seem to be running away from the question of why was Gurgaon-based company — MAAC Infrastructure Private Limited chosen — and what was the wisdom behind going on this loss-making spree (the contract is for three months, at least).
‘Only one firm came forward’
When queried on the same, MC commissioner B Purushartha told HT, “We invited companies to run the multi-level parking on a trial basis. Only one company came forward and it quoted Rs 6.59 lakh per month. The MC chief engineer had prepared an estimate for running the lot that also put the cost at Rs 6.5 lakh. Tenders for the multi-level parking will be floated again. We brought down the cost to Rs 6.2 lakh.”
“The engineering department claimed that it does not have the 51 employees needed to be deployed to run the lot. “ He added that tenders had been floated for the plaza parking lots and when they became paid, more people were expected to use the lot. The money that the contractor is getting from the MC — Rs 20,000 a day — cannot be earned at the new multi-level lot. With a capacity of 900 cars and a rate of Rs 5 per entry, it would require that the lot is full 5 times over during a day.
The contractor at the site Ashok Chauhan said, “With the Sahib Singh Parking lot and the Empire Store lot nearby offering free parking, people are not inclined to use the multi-level parking.”
Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee spokesperson Rajesh Sharma said, “We reiterate our demand for a high-level inquiry into the allotment of multi-level parking contract on a single bid only. This is a violation of Central Vigilance Commission norms.”