The mini secretariat’s multilevel parking lot was auctioned for Rs 95 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 50 lakh on Friday. For the first time, the authorities also offered holding car bazaar for the sale and purchase of used cars on every Sunday at the lot.
However, the district administration cannot confirm the auction as the blacklisted contractor, Bhola and Co, which is looking after the parking lot at present, had moved Punjab and Haryana high court against holding an auction.
On December 24, the HC had directed that the district administration could go ahead with the auction, but the same would not be confirmed. The next date for the hearing is January 6.
Earlier, the deputy commissioner had blacklisted Bhola and Co who was found habitual of overcharging during an inquiry conducted by a tehsildar but his contract was not cancelled.
To attract bidders this time, the district administration allowed that the contractor can use the parking lot for holding car bazaar on every Sunday but had to ensure that the parking lot would be cleared by the end of the day.
Several bidders participated in the auction for the period January 2015 to March 2016, while the highest bid of Rs 95 lakh was placed by Shyam Sundar who has also submitted Rs 22 lakh as advance as per conditions.
The same parking lot was earlier auctioned for around Rs 64 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 56 lakh from June 2014 to March 2015.
Giving some relief to visitors, the district administration has decided to reduce the reserve price for auction and parking fees for visitors. According to the new contract for the multilevel parking, fee for two-wheelers will be Rs 10 and Rs 20 for four-wheelers (from 8.30am to 5.30pm). Besides, the parking of cycles will be free of cost.
Earlier, HT had highlighted several times that how Bhola and Co was charging Rs 20 from two-wheelers against the prescribed rate of Rs 12 and Rs 40 against the actual fee of Rs 23 for parking of four-wheelers. Residents had also given written complaints to the district administration following which an inquiry was marked into the overcharging.
A visitor, Ramandeep Singh, said, “It is a good decision to decrease the parking fees. Also, it is a good initiative that the contractor will be allowed to organise car bazaar on Sundays when the parking lot remains empty.”
Khanna additional deputy commissioner Ajay Sood said, “We have followed the directions of the high court. The contractor will have to follow the conditions of agreement as the DC can impose fine or cancel the contract if contractor is found violating the norms.”
Assistant commissioner (general) Navraj Singh Brar said, “The HC had directed to go ahead with auction, but it cannot be confirmed. The decision will be taken after the next hearing on January 6.”