A lively debate on paid parking marked the SAS Nagar municipal corporation House meeting on Tuesday with the matter being finally referred to a five-member committee that is to submit its recommendation in 15 days. A three-member committee has recently had recommended that paid parking be extended to all 10 parking lots in the city from the three markets where it is operational now.
The MC is expected to earn around Rs 30 lakh a month after paid parking in introduced across the city.
Targeting mayor Kulwant Singh for ‘thrusting paid parking’ on residents, opposition BJP councillor Arun Sharma said, “We are against paid parking. During the elections, we had promised the residents that that it will be taken back. We have to consider residents’ protest over the issue.”
SAD councillor Kamaljeet Singh Ruby, said, “Residents have witnessed harassment in the name of paid parking. There is need to regulate parking and shopkeepers can be allowed to advertise for revenue.”
To this, mayor Kulwant Singh had a counter.
“I have met representatives of market association and all are in favour of paid parking, but with certain conditions. To date, I have received no written representation opposing paid parking. However, I have several signed requests from market associations in favour of the concept.”
MC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta, said, “Parking regulation is the need of the hour in wake. We need to take this decision sensibly considering the future. If not today, two years down the line regulation of parking would become a necessity and nothing comes for free. The safety of the vehicles is ensured and the charges are minimum. Residents must realise that e policy is there for it sown good.”
Congress councillor Kuljeet Singh Bedi, part of the treasury benches, told the House, “Residents are confused. We are answerable to the residents who have voted for us. So, a committee of elected members be constituted to revisit the issue.”
The five-member committee comprises Parkashwati from the BJP, Phoolraj Singh from the Azaad group, Amrik Singh Somal from the Congress, Paramjeet Singh Kahlon from the SAD and Taranjit Kaur Gill from the Congress.
Incidentally, the contract of JTS Constructions that is managing paid parking in Phases 5, 3B2 and 7 comes to an end in April.
The company was awarded the contract in 2015 and had been issued several notices for violations.
Villages may be exempted from property tax
Councillors demanded that the villages falling within the MC limits should be exempted from paying property tax. The mayor gave them an assurance on the issue.
A recent move by the House to make residents give a undertaking of having parking space before their cars could be registered came in for severe opposition. The issue is pending but GMADA has been asked not to pass building plans without parking facility.