The Manchester city of India is no less than any metropolitan city when it comes to providing lavish lifestyle to residents here at various malls. For few moments, one forgets the narrow streets and traffic chaos in city after witnessing several showrooms and royal ambiance offered at these malls.
But visitors here are a harried lot, as they rue that mall authorities charge exorbitantly from them for parking as compared to other cities like Chandigarh. The malls in Chandigarh charge a nominal fee of Rs20, while those in city charge Rs. 30 for parking, they rue.
Hence to avoid such excessive parking rates, people are forced to park outside the malls or near residential areas or on roads resulting in traffic snarls.
It is mandatory for every mall to make parking spaces. But high parking fees charged by these malls have only disappointed people.
“Visiting a mall is a costly affair because of high parking fee. Whether we buy anything or not we have to shell out extra for parking,” said Divya Gurm, a visitor to a mall.
When HT contacted authorities at MBD mall on Ferozepur Road, they said parking fees was decided as per the market scenario. They said facilities such as lights, security, CCTVs etc are provided to visitors hence the fee charged from people was nominal.
“We agree that malls do provide several facilities, but they are bound to do that. Malls in other cities also provide similar facilities, but charge less as compared to malls in Ludhiana,” said Sunny Verma, a city resident.
Nitin Gulati, manager at Silver Arc mall said, “Parking fees is decided according to per square feet parameter. The parking fee is nominal as we provide a number of facilities to visitors.”
He further added that the parking fee is prone to changes as per the management's decisions and that fee charged by other malls is also kept in mind.
The Municipal Corporation too fails to have any set parameter to charge parking fees as a result residents would continue to fume.
AS Sekhon, Joint Commissioner said, “The mall authorities are free to charge as much parking fee as they want as there are no set regulations for charging fee at private properties.”
“House Tax is charged as per the parking fee. More the parking fee more will be the house tax,” he added.
Not only parking woes trouble residents, but they also complain that facilities provided at various malls in city were also not upto the mark.