Paid parking to go as Chandigarh MC initiates cancellation of contract
Mumbai-based company yet to pay June-September quarter’s licence fee to MC, even after two-week grace period; in such a scenario, MC reserves the right to annul contractpunjab Updated: Jul 07, 2018 14:42 IST
The municipal corporation (MC) on Friday began cancellation proceedings against Mumbai-based paid parking contractor — Arya Toll Infra limited — over their failure to clear dues worth ₹3.69 crore, pertaining to the licence fee.
The firm is running 25 parking lots and was given time till Friday to clear the payment. But, the MC commissioner KK Yadav said the firm neither cleared the payment nor gave any written justification for the delay in stipulated time. “In light of this, I have directed the parking branch to cancel the contract notice as MC reserves the right to protect its interest as per the terms and agreement of the memorandum of understanding (MoU),” he said.
The licence fee is the amount that a firm pays to the civic body for permission to run the parking lots and charge money from the commuters.
MC joint commissioner Tejdeep Singh Saini, who heads the parking branch, said the final order will be issued by Monday. He said the firm was given reasonable time to clear the payment in accordance with natural justice but It did not avail the opportunity and rather chose to violate the agreement.
As per the MoU with the firm, it is bound to pay every quarter’s payment in advance. The payment of ongoing quarter (June to September) was due on June 19 but the firm failed to pay it even after the two-week grace period that lapsed earlier this week.
“As per agreement, MC has the right to cancel the contract after lapse of grace period. We will take action now,” said Saini.
MC, on the other hand, rubbished ₹10-crore compensation recently sought by the parking contractor on the account of illegal parking in the city and encroachments inside the lots.
Firm’s local officials silent
The firm’s local officials are silent over the issue. An official, on the condition of anonymity, said they are helpless and it was the firm’s decision not to clear the payment. “The management does not seem interested to run the parking lots due to constant interference from the councillors in our working,” he said.
Big relief for commuters if contract annulled
The cancellation of contract will bring a significant relief for the commuters as high price of parking tickets will go.
The row over the paid parking began in April after the contractor increased the rates to ₹10 and ₹20 for two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
It prompted mayor Davesh Moudgil to take on the firm by highlighting several anomalies in its working as he pushed for cancellation of the contract. The agenda to cancel the contract has been discussed in the House thrice since April, but councillors failed to cancel the contract after being cautioned by the MC officials of financial and legal ramifications for one-sided cancellation.
In last week’s House meeting, councillors left it to MC commissioner KK Yadav to take action against the parking contractor after he told the House that he will personally check all the terms and conditions of the contract and get them implemented.
Since Yadav has ordered cancellation, the mayor and other councillors may feel vindicated if the final order is issued on Monday.
First Published: Jul 07, 2018 14:29 IST