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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

MC's auction of parking lots comes under scanner

Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana: Ludhiana, June 27, 2013
First Published: 22:16 IST(27/6/2013) | Last Updated: 22:21 IST(27/6/2013)

Municipal corporation (MC) has come under scanner for allegedly trying to save the parking space in front of a former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA's house, opposite hotel Majestic Park Plaza, during the auction of parking lots on Ferozepur road on Wednesday.

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In a bid to ensure that the parking space in front of former legislator Harish Rai Dhanda's house was not auctioned, the civic body allegedly doubled the reserve price for it and for the lot outside the marriage palace adjacent to it, despite the fact that these lots have much lesser traffic than other lots.

As per documents, while the parking lots in front of hotel Majestic Park Plaza and other places had a reserve price per car of Rs. 14,400, the one in front of Dhanda's house and two others were priced at Rs. 28,800.

Consequently, due to higher reserve price, none of the auction participants bid for the site.
The parking contractors, on the condition of anonymity, said it was difficult to understand as to why the reserve prices were different for two parking lots, which were just opposite to each other.

“This seems to serve only one purpose that these parking lots do not find any bidders, and the owners in the adjoining areas retain the space for their use,” a bidder alleged.Meanwhile, the MC auctioned 13 parking lots on Wednesday.

A contractor, requesting anonymity, said if the reserve price was higher for the space in front of hotel Majestic Park Plaza, it was understandable, as the hotel had more visitors daily. “But it is surprising that the prices were inflated for a space, which has hardly any commercial activity, and has no incentive for the parking contractor,” he added.

The corporation decided to auction the parking space on both sides of the Ferozepur Road, between Shiraz Hotel and Circuit House, following the orders of Punjab and Haryana high court. When contacted, MC additional commissioner Isha Kalia denied any ulterior motive behind the higher reserve price of three parking lots.

“The rates for the parking sites were fixed by building branch and tehbazari wings after analyzing all factors and locations. The lots, which were not auctioned on Wednesday, will be put up for auction again, after the general House passes the resolution,” she claimed.

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