The municipal corporation councillors are bracing up for opposing tooth and nail the UT administration’s proposal to hike the vehicle parking rates in the city. The parking rates would double as per the new policy, which introduces a slew of measures to streamline the vehicle parking system in city to put an end to complaints of fleecing by contractors.
The agenda for increasing the parking lots, revision of parking rates and to introduce the smart card for public convenience would be placed in the civic body’s House meeting on October 29, which the councillors of all parties say will oppose.
MC commissioner Bhawna Garg said, “The residents today want an efficient, convenient and smart parking system. 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 the revised amount.”
Also, a senior officer of Chandigarh administration said smart parking lots were the need of the day as the city is on its way to become a Smart City. “We will have to implement it whether or not councillors approve it,” he said.
On the other hand, Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra said, “We will oppose the revised rates tooth and nail in the House meeting. We do not want to burden the residents and if the administration goes ahead with it, the BJP will be responsible.”
BJP councillor and senior deputy mayor, Rajesh Gupta, said, “The residents are already burdened with many taxes and we will not allow hike in the parking rates. If administration will go against us, we will even hold protests. It emerges that officers just want to favour the contractors by increasing the rates.”
On September 30, a five-member committee constituted to work out the modalities for the revision of parking fee, had rejected the proposal and suggested that all the 24 parking lots in the city be made free by giving their management to private players in lieu of some advertisement rights. The proposal was, however, rejected by the municipal corporation commissioner Bhawna Garg, saying, “We cannot allow advertisements in parking lots as it will spoil the beauty of the city. We have to increase the rates at any cost.” The final decision will be taken in the House meeting on October 29.
The MC has planned to introduce smart cards and e-ticketing in all the parking lots in Chandigarh. With the facility of smart cards (pre-paid or post-paid) residents will not suffer at the hands of contractors. The smart cards will be provided and recharged through e-sampark centres.
HIGHEST CAR DENSITY
The vehicle density in Chandigarh is highest in the country with 227 cars per 1,000 people. In comparison, the parking rates are the lowest.