Fleecing at parking lots: news reports not enough for MC commissioner to act

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Jul 12, 2014 12:29 IST

The fleecing of visitors by parking contractors on Ferozepur Road continues despite numerous complaints made by the city residents, which were duly highlighted in various reports carried in the HT Ludhiana. Even after a month, the municipal corporation authorities have failed to take action against the erring contractor.

As a reality check, this correspondent parked his vehicle in a parking lot on Ferozepur Road and much to his surprise, he was asked to pay ? 10 instead of the prescribed fee of ? 5 for one hour.

He then approached the MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal to apprise him about the ongoing fleecing by the parking contractor. However, Agarwal refused point blank to act on the basis of the newspaper reports, saying, “We do not go by the newspaper reports but on the written complaint with signatures of the individual concerned.”

Though the correspondent produced a slip issued by the parking staff that did not carry the amount to charged as the portion where ? 5 was mentioned had been torn off. Still, the commissioner demanded a written complaint with signature.

Interestingly, the commissioner also referred to the Hindi movie Jolly LLB stating that a judge had refused to accept the news reference put up by a lawyer and added that it was his prerogative whether or not to act on the basis of news.

When told that entry to the roadside parking area outside the Mini Secretariat has been closed using ropes with the sole motive that people are forced to park their vehicles in the multi-level parking at higher rates, Agarwal demanded a written complaint with signature before sending an inspection team to the spot.

On June 5, the MC had announced that ? 1,000 fine will be charged from the contractor on every complaint and contract will be cancelled after receiving three complaints.

Interestingly, the superintendent of MC’s tehbazaari wing had also caught the parking staff while fleecing the visitors on June, 12, 13 and 14 at different parking lots on Ferozepur road. Besides, the complaints were also highlighted in HT many times.

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