As the authorities failed to act against "parking mafia", fleecing of visitors at various parking lots under the municipal corporation, district administration and zila parishad is continuing in every nook and corner of the city.
Parking contractors have recruited trained staff that forces visitors to pay according to their demand. Hundreds of residents suffer everyday but it seems that the officials are ignoring these wrong practices.
Though complaints about parking lots under the MC are in knowledge of principal secretary of local bodies department Ashok Nayar, MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal, zonal commissioner PS Ghuman and superintendent of tehbazaari wing Jasdev Singh Sekhon, still the contractors on the Ferozepur Road and Malhar Road are looting the visitors.
HT has highlighted the issues of overcharging many times but the authorities failed to act. Sources said the visitors, who came to visit an exhibition at Hotel Park Plaza on Sunday, were charged parking fee up to `100 at a parking lot on the Ferozepur Road near Bhai Bala Chowk.
A contractor, Bhola and Co, at parking lots of the Ferozepur Road, was charging Rs 30 for parking of car even for few minutes while the prescribed fee for the first hour was only Rs 10.
Radha Raman Contractor Pvt Ltd, contractor for parking lots of Malhar Road and Sarabha Nagar Block 1, is issuing slips with no fee mentioned on it, while it is strictly mentioned in the agreement to highlight fee on the slips. According to an agreement, contracts of the contractors who fall under the ambit of the MC will be cancelled if three complaints are registered against them.
Jasdev Singh Sekhon claimed, "We are going to issue notices to cancel contracts of the erring contractors." Local Bodies minister Anil Joshi did not attend the calls.
Mini secretariat, Books Market
Besides, over charging of parking fees can also be seen at multi-level parking of the Mini Secretariat and near Books Market.
A city resident Atul Kumar said, "I was charged Rs 40 for parking my car at a parking lot near Books market. When I argue about the fee, the parking staff misbehaved with me. Moreover, the parking fee also was not mentioned on the slip issued to me."
Harjinder, a visitor, said, "I was charged Rs 20 for parking my vehicle at Mini Secretariat that is under district administration against the prescribed fee of Rs 12."
Training of parking staff
Sources in the MC revealed that proper training had been given to the staff deployed at the parking lots so that they can fleece the visitors easily. These staff members generally misbehave with visitors if they ask them about the actual parking fee.
Gurpreet Singh: I was charged Rs 30 for parking my car for five minutes at Silver Arc Mall . This is sheer harassment for the visitors. When I asked the parking staff about the actual fee, they were not ready to listen me.
Kashif Nazeer: I was charged `10 for parking my vehicle against the prescribed fee of `5 for first hour at Silver Arc Mall . It was responsibility of the government to cancel contracts of contractors who cheat the visitors.
Amit Kumar: The parking staff always overcharge and we are helpless as nobody takes action against them. If we argue with the parking staff then they misbehave with us.