Parking rate row: 5 teams to inspect facilities regularly now
In apparent reaction to the controversy after the hike in parking rates since April that has turned into a mayor-versus-babus battle, the officers’ side of the municipal corporation on Wednesday constituted five committees to check violations in the lots and file a report every alternate day.
This comes after mayor Davesh Moudgil upped the ante against the babus, claiming that he was kept in the dark on the increase and that the officers do not take action over anomalies by the contractor.
Not commenting on the mayor’s charge, though, MC commissioner Jitender Yadav said on Wednesday that earlier the inspections were carried out by the enforcement wing, “which is busy in other works”.
Each of the new five committees is headed by a sub-divisional-level officer of the engineering department and has two members of the enforcement wing. “As these staff mostly remain in the field, it is convenient for them to regularly visit the area and check the conditions as per the agreement with the firm,” Yadav said.
The 25 lots have been divided among the committees that will submit reports to the commissioner every alternate day, starting Friday. The teams will also attach with the report the photographs of violations detected.
Firm already fined
The firm, said the commissioner, has already been penalised Rs 30,000 for various anomalies, including haphazard parking and attendants’ not wearing nameplates, on the basis of a recently submitted report of a technical committee. However, as per the agreement with the firm, these violations cannot lead to termination of the pact.
The agreement states that termination can be done only in case of a sixth violation of overcharging, non-issue of parking slip, commercial activity in the parking area or non-use of e-ticketing machine.
The commissioner underlined that no anomaly on these counts has been detected “except overcharging, once”. “The firm has given in writing that the overcharging happened due to technical glitch in the machine, which is being verified,” Yadav said.
“But we are firm on smooth functioning of these parking lots,” he added.
What’s the fuss? Pact okayed by House
Mayor Davesh Moudgil is opposing hiked parking rates now, but it was his party, BJP, in power last year when the hike was approved once from December and then again from April.
It is also incorporated in the three-year agreement signed between the private contractor and MC last year. MC got Rs 14.69 crore per annum as licence fee from the firm, which is nearly five times what it use to get earlier; and “smart” operation facilities in all 25 paid parking lots.
The charges earlier were Rs 2 for two-wheelers and Rs 5 for other vehicles, which doubled in December and also were made slab-wise. This meant, for first four hours, Rs 5 for two-wheelers and Rs 10 for four-wheelers; and then addition of the same amount every two hours. And these were doubled again to slabs of Rs 10 and Rs 20, respectively, from April 1.
The double of these rates is charged in lots near three prime malls. The hike was done to discourage use of private vehicles and to provide smart facilities such as automatic barriers and better management. There is no further revision in the rates in the remaining period of the pact that starts from June 19, 2017.