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Starved of funds, Chandigarh MC eyes 70 free parking lots to fill its coffers

The Chandigarh municipal corporation earns Rs 15 crore annually from auction of 25 paid lots.

punjab Updated: Dec 21, 2017 11:38 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh mc,Chandigarh parking lots,Chandigarh news
All parking lots will go smart after the proposal is approved(HT File)

Facing financial crisis, the Chandigarh municipal corporation has proposed to convert all 70 non-paid parking lots in the city into paid ones.

At present, there are only 25 paid parking lots in Sectors 7, 8, 9, 17, 22, 26, 34 and 35. The proposal will be tabled in the month-end House meeting.

Calling it a “good move”, city mayor Asha Kumari Jaswal told HT its needed looking at the civic body’s poor financial condition. “After reviewing the proposal, we will put it in the House for vote,” she said.

On December 11, HT had highlighted the civic body’s poor financial health. With Rs 125 crore left in a fixed deposit and only Rs 10 crore being generated per month through its own sources of income, the MC faces exhaustion of all its funds by January-end and won’t be able to pay salaries to its employees in the last two months of this fiscal.

The municipal commissioner has already ordered halting of all major construction works and has asked the officers to work out ways to enhance internal sources of income. Paid parking is one of them. In the auction of 25 parking lots, the civic body earned Rs 15 crore in one year.

Survey is on

MC joint commissioner Tejdeep Singh Saini said the civic body’s engineering wing is conducting a survey of all non-paid parking lots. It will prepare a report on the area, capacity and entry and exit points of these 70 lots.

“The parking branch will hold its meeting next week before placing the proposal before the House on December 27,” he said.

“In no other city of this country we have non-paid parking lots,” said a senior MC officer, not wishing to be named. “The move will not only provide better services to the people, but also help the financially starved civic body. Most of these non-paid lots are located in commercial areas and will generate good income.”

Opposing the move, Chandigarh Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra said: “After coming to power, the BJP has burdened the people. First, they hiked the property tax, then increased conversion rates 55 times and now enhanced parking rates at 25 lots. We will not allow conversion of non-paid lots into paid ones.”

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 11:38 IST