Even as mayor Kulwant Singh, who heads the Azaad group of councillors, admitted to ‘political compulsions’ of parties, the SAS Nagar municipal corporation on Thursday passed a resolution not to introduce paid parking in the town. The decision is expected to hold till at least the state assembly elections that are due in a few months. For now then, all lots in the city have become free with paid parking contract for markets in Phases 3B2, 5 and 7 expiring on April 14.
Rush to take credit
“During the MC elections, the Congress has promised to withdraw paid parking and we have fulfilled the promise. If you call it political compulsion, I don’t mind but we did what we promised,” said Congress councillor Taranjit Kaur Gill.
“Most markets in SAS Nagar are SCF (shop-cum-flats), so paid parking would have been like asking residents to pay for parking in their homes. We want SCFs to be spared from paid parking. It can be introduced in SCOs,” said BJP councillor Ashok Jha. “Residents are against paid parking, so why not do away with it at least till the elections,” said SAD councillor Gurmeet Singh Walia.
Mayor has not given up concept
Mayor Kulwant Singh put on record that he did see a future for the concept. “It is unfortunate that owing to political compulsions, we are opposing paid parking. Paid parking, properly regulated, is the need of the hour and think for the betterment of the town rising above political compulsions,” he said.
“We can make the first two hours of parking free and then start charging to ensure residents are not burdened unnecessarily,” he told the meeting.
“If paid parking is to be introduced, charge per entry, especially from 5-7pm. Otherwise, we will encourage hooliganism,” said one councillor.