MC forced to incur losses as parking lots in city fail to attract contractors
Ever since paid parking was introduced in the city in 2003, paid parking issue has continued to dog the local body. Problems pertaining to paid parking of vehicles across City Beautiful continue to dog the MC despite the fact that three different heads have handled the charge in the past nine years.chandigarh Updated: Aug 20, 2012 10:28 IST
Problems pertaining to paid parking of vehicles across City Beautiful continue to dog the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation despite the fact that three different heads have handled the charge in the past nine years.
After paid parking was introduced in the city in 2003, it was put under the MC engineering wing and the arrangement continued till 2007. Thereafter, paid parking was put under sub-divisional engineer (SDE), headquarters. It has now been shifted to MC enforcement wing for the past nearly two months.
As many as 24 paid parking lots generate Rs 4 crore annually for the MC.
The civic body has already suffered a loss of Rs 50 lakh since five of its parking lots have no takers for the past eight months despite the fact that terms and conditions for giving out contracts were relaxed.
The contract for four paid parking areas had expired on December 31 last year. The MC did not hand out the new contracts due to low auction price, including those of CMC parking in Sector 17, zone one in Sector 34, Lake Club parking, medical officer (health) parking in Sector 17 and the parking lot of Sector 9-D. As per MC officials, civic body is getting poorer by Rs 20,000 per day as a result.
The MC had failed to get any response in the last two auctions held on January 11 and February 21. Another auction was slated for June 2, but no contractor came forward till May 28, the last day for receiving the bids. The MC was thus forced to postpone the auction. The story was repeated on July 13 as well, when no contractor showed willingness for the job.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, MC additional commissioner Lalit Siwach, who is also in charge of the enforcement wing, said, "We are in the process of formulating a policy on the matter, considering the convenience of both the contractors and the paying public and will hold auction for paid parking lots soon."
The councillors sought to blame the MC for the mess. BSP councillor Naresh Kumar said that it was unfortunate that the MC had suffered loss of Rs 50 lakh. "Free parking is causing a lot of inconvenience to local residents given the way vehicles are parked in designated areas that have not been auctioned till date. We fail to understand as to why auction are conducted at the last moment and also why authorities are not coming up with some alternative to earn revenue for the local body," he remarked.
On the other hand, contractors asserted that no one would come forward to bid for the parking lots due to "harsh" conditions/norms. "We take contracts of parking lots for some profit, but we are running in losses for the last several years," they griped.
Lalit Joshi, one of the contractors, said, "It is very difficult to work under such strict guidelines. We do not earn anything from these parking lots as half of our income goes in paying fines for not following the MC norms."