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It’s back to high parking rates in Chandigarh

Firm to get back possession of parking lots today after court relief, to pay quarterly licence fee within two weeks.

punjab Updated: Jul 12, 2018 14:49 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Chandigarh parking,Parking in Chandigarh
The high court’s decision on Wednesday nullified the MC finance and contract committee’s Tuesday decision to slash parking rates by half from ₹10 and ₹20 for bikes and cars respectively.(HT File)

The drama over paid parking in the city is far from over.

A day after the municipal corporation slashed parking rates to half following the cancellation of contract, the original rates of ₹10 and ₹20 for two- and four- wheelers, respectively, have been restored with the Punjab and Haryana high court giving relief to the Mumbai firm on Wednesday.

The court stayed the MC’s contract termination move taken on Monday and subsequent possession of parking lots, paving the way for the firm — Arya Toll Infra Limited — to take back charge of the lots and restore the original rates.

Municipal commissioner KK Yadav said in the light of the court orders, the MC finance and contract committee’s Tuesday decision to slash prices to ₹5 and ₹10 has been nullified.

While the Congress criticised the MC for handling the issue poorly, Yadav said the court’s direction is a “win-win” situation for the corporation.

Yadav said the contract was terminated as the firm failed to pay the quarterly licence fee to the tune of ₹3.69 crore despite repeated reminders and notices.

"The HC has stayed the terminationsubject to clearance of one-third of the payment by the contractor immediately, and the remaining within two weeks by submitting post-dated cheques of equal amount on July 16, 21 and 26,” said the MC chief. “We have already received one-third payment, which is around ₹1.35 crore. Theremaining is expected within the stipulated time.”

Yadav said the HC has clarified that the MC’s contract cancellation move will be restored if the firm defaults on the payment. “The court has also directed the firm to restore all smart parking services within 24 hours of taking the possession of parking lots. We will keep on eye on the compliance of orders and report the matter back to the HC on the next date of hearing,” he said.

The court’s order will keep the pressure on the firm to make regular payments as well as provide smart facilities, according to the memorandum of understanding, he said.

The court will now hear the matter on August 7.

300 EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK

The order has come as a relief to 300 attendants and other worker, who had been engaged by the firm and were rendered jobless after the MC move. They will now join back work.

As the court’s detailed order was not uploaded till late in the evening, the firm’s move to take over possession of the lots was deferred for Thursday. Moreover, it has to deposit the three post-dated cheques with the office of parking branch head Tejdeep Singh Saini before taking the possession.

Ever since the MC took over the possession on Monday, 240 of its employees were manning the parking lots. They will now return to their primary duties.

Saini said the contractor will be handed over the possession of lots on Thursday if it complies with the court orders. Firm’s representative Sunil Badlani said the cheques will be submitted on Thursday morning and the operations will resume thereafter.

However, he alleged MC employees removed the board mentioning the rate list from most parking lots on Tuesday. “Windowpanes of some kiosks are also shattered. We will claim ₹10 lakh damages from the MC,” he said.

First Published: Jul 12, 2018 14:33 IST