After the shopkeepers of Ghumar Mandi protested against paid parking, now traders at Malhar Road are up in arms against the system, which has been introduced for the first time in the area.
Alleging that parking contractor had not displayed parking rates and was fleecing the visitors, shopkeepers also accused the contractor of coercing them to pay a fixed amount per day for parking of vehicles in front of their shops.
Earlier on Thursday, the shopkeepers met mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria to demand withdrawal of the paid-parking concept in the area as it was harassing visitors, adding that visitors had almost stopped visiting small shops at the market, which had led to a dip in their business.
A shopkeeper alleged that they were being asked to pay `2,000 per day if they wanted to allow parking to their customers without any inconvenience.
"We met the mayor on Thursday and demanded withdrawal of paid parking. We apprised him of the problems being faced by shopkeepers and customers due to paid parking," said Manmohanjit Singh Walia, president of Green Market Association (Shastri Nagar to Sarabha Nagar traffic lights).
Stating that groups of people supporting the parking contractor often came to the area to intimidate them, the shopkeepers claimed that if the municipal corporation did not provide them respite, they would resort to staging protests.
Paramjit Singh, president of Malhar Road Shopkeepers' Welfare Association, said, "There should be separate parking lots instead of legalising parking on roads. Majority of the area on this road is residential, so there should be no paid parking on the road."
When contacted, mayor Gohalwaria said the shopkeepers had met him, adding that he would look into their complaints.
The shopkeepers also met MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali and claimed that the MLA had assured them of finding out a solution of their grievances.
Mayor conducts inspections
Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria visited the parking lots of Sarabha Nagar main market and I-Block Sarabha Nagar on Thursday and found the contractors fleecing visitors.
"I, along with the area councilor, conducted a surprise check and found that the parking staff was illegally charging fee from the vehicles being parked on the road in Sarabha Nagar main market, even as parking is allowed only at the parking lot. I warned the parking attendants that their contract would be cancelled if they were found fleecing visitors in future," he said.
"We also inspected the parking lot at I-Block of Sarabha Nagar where the attendant tore the issued slip when we visited the parking lot again. I warned the staff not to tear issued slips as they are valid for multiple visits in a day," Gohalwaria added.