In what appears to be oversight or negligence on part of its officials, the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) is set to allot all 25 parking lots in the city to a firm whose contract the Ludhiana market committee had cancelled in February last year for overcharging.
The staff of the firm, LRY Labour Construction, was also accused of misbehaving with people. Moreover, several complaints of overcharging are still pending against the contractor with the Ludhiana municipal corporation.
Interestingly, the MC failed to verify the credentials of the contractor before it participated in the bidding process.
To make smart parking lots in the city, the local civic body had floated tenders for which and three companies came forward.
While the Ludhiana contractor gave the highest bid at Rs 2.16 crore, a Delhi-based firm’s bid was Rs 2.12 crore. A Chandigarh-based company, Kapsons’s bid was disqualified as it did not have required experience.
In a week, the MC will be issuing notices to all paid parking contractors to vacate the lots. As many as 11 of the 25 parking lots are open for the past one year, resulting in a loss of nearly Rs 4 crore to the civic body.
MC joint commissioner Varinder Chaudhary said, “The firm is the highest bidder. We have got some complaints of overcharging and rude behaviour by its employees in Ludhiana. We are still checking the veracity of the claims and also sending our team to Ludhiana before finalising the contract.”
The MC wants to allot the contract before the code of conduct for civic body polls comes into effect from November 15. The MC polls are scheduled to be held in third week of December.
Under the smart parking system, smart rechargeable entry cards will be available at e-sampark centres. The parking lots will be have automatic boom barriers. There are also plans to launch a mobile app to provide
parking availability status in real time. For past several years, paid parking has become a contentious issue as the civic body has failed to streamline it, resulting in haphazard parking that causes inconvenience to residents.