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Fleecing, altered slips and rude staff, all at major parking lots in Patiala

The staff are allegedly working in a clear violation of the deputy commissioner’s orders and unabatedly fleecing the cyclists and motorists by charging more amount that they should.

punjab Updated: Sep 10, 2018 16:09 IST
Sunil rahar
Sunil rahar
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Fleecing,parking,Patiala
(HT Photo)

The people visiting Mini Secretariat in Patiala are forced to shell out almost double the parking fee.

Reason: The staff are allegedly working in a clear violation of the deputy commissioner’s orders and unabatedly fleecing the cyclists and motorists by charging more amount that they should.

The scenario is no different at other prominent places such as Rajindra hospital, Mata Kaushalya hospital, bus stand and railway station.

In an unprecedented move, parking contractors (or their staff) have reportedly done away with mentioning exact rates on the visitor slips.The price mentioned on the slips is usually rubbed, altered and at times, overwritten.

Contractor at Mini Secretariat unaware of fleecing

The staff at the parking lot in Mini Secretariat, which houses many government departments and sees around 500 visitors on daily basis, have been charging Rs 5 for a bicycle, Rs 10 for a motorcycle and Rs 20 for a car against the administration’s prescribed rate of Rs 3 for a bicycle, Rs 5 for a motorcycle and Rs 10 for a car.

Even this Hindustan Times reporter had to pay Rs 10 to park his motorcycle at the Mini Secretariat and the slip he got bore no mention of the parking rate (see picture). A Ludhiana resident, Anshu, said he paid Rs 20 to park his car at the Mini Secretariat.

When questioned about charging double the fixed amount, an employee at the lot said, “We have been charging more to minimise the loss as we bagged the parking contract at a high price.”

However, the parking contractor, Rajiv Kumar, claimed that he was not aware of such activities.

‘Have informed the deputy commissioner’

“I have informed deputy commissioner Kumar Amit about the exorbitant fares being charged from the visitors. We will look into the matter and action will be initiated against the violators,” said additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Showkat Ahmed Parray.

The unfair fare differential

Similar amount of money is also being charged at the Rajindra hospital’s parking lot, though as per the hospital authorities, the rates are Rs 2 for a bicycle, Rs 5 for a two-wheeler and Rs 10 for a car. At least 1,500 patients visit this medical facility daily.

“These are the rates fixed for the past several years and no one can stop us from charging the said amount,” said an employee at the hospital’s parking lot.

Rajindra hospital medical superintendent BS Brar said after getting a written complaint, action will be taken against the violators.

A visitor, Baljeet Dhaliwal, said despite a number of complaints, these contractors have not budged and the lackadaisical approach of hospital authority is increasing our problems.

No free bicycle entry

At government Mata Kaushalya hospital, the management has allowed free bicycle entry, but the cyclists are still being charged Rs 5.

The other parking rates are same as those at Mini Secretariat.

“I had paid Rs 5 for the bicycle parking on Friday,” said Ramneek Singh, a Patiala resident.

Medical superintendent of the hospital, Renu Aggarwal, said she would impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on contractor after receiving a formal complaint.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 12:31 IST