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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Overlooking its own terms, MC fails to take action

Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, June 18, 2014
First Published: 10:48 IST(18/6/2014) | Last Updated: 10:51 IST(18/6/2014)

Even though it has received several complaints about overcharging at the parking lots located on Ferozepur Road, the municipal corporation (MC) has not made any move to ensure parking attendants stop shortchanging visitors.

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During the auction of parking lots on June 5, the MC had made it clear in its terms and conditions that every overcharging complaint against a contractor would invite a Rs. 1,000 fine and his licence would be revoked if three complaints were received in a row. But the corporation has now overlooked these norms.

Meanwhile, parking attendants continue to fleece visitors.

At the parking lots on Ferozepur Road, the attendants demand Rs. 10 for parking a motorcycle or scooter for the first hour, against the approved Rs. 5. The parking slip issued by the contractor has the part, which states Rs. 5 for first hour, ripped off. Moreover, despite several complaints, parking attendants still do not jot down the vehicle registration number and the time of entry on the parking slips.

When this reporter visited the parking lot near Bhai Bala Chowk on Tuesday, attendants were charging Rs. 10 for every motorcycle or scooter and handing over torn slips. Moreover, signboards posting the parking fee rates were unavailable.

“I was charged Rs. 10 for the first hour even though I planned to park my vehicle here for less than half an hour. Also, I didn’t have the slightest idea the fee is Rs. 5 for the first hour as there was no board at the entrance displaying the parking fees. However, when someone told visitors the stipulated fee for parking a two-wheeler for an hour was in fact Rs. 5, the attendants sheepishly admitted the fact and beg an charging Rs. 5,” said a visitor, requesting anonymity.

Manjit Singh Mehram, a social activist, said, “The MC should immediately cancel the licence of any parking contractor who openly disregards rules. It’s amazing even after getting several complaints against these contractors, the MC has still not taken any action. There is no ease for visitors.”

HT has on several occasions highlighted the issues being faced by visitors at the city’s parking lots.

On June 12, even MC superintendent for Zone D, Jasdev Sekhon, who had parked his vehicle outside the Silver Arc Mall, was overcharged by the parking attendants.

On June 13 civic of ficials caught an attendant at a parking lot on Ferozepur Road overcharging visitors. He was later taken to a police station. On June 14, an MC team fo und a not her attendant at a parking lot near Vishal Mega Mart on Ferozepur Road fleecing visitors.

When contacted, MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal could only say, “I’ve instructed the official concerned to look into the complaints.”

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