Chandigarh, January 30
With councillors tearing into the Municipal Corporation over its move to hand over all 89 parking lots in the city to a lone contractor, the civic body today decided to run these spaces on its own till a new agency takes over.
While 57 parking lots in the city had gone free after the expiry of Zone-II agency’s contract on January 23, the contract of Zone-I agency, which is managing 32 other lots, ends on January 31.
The councillors, cutting across party lines, refused to accord approval to the agenda to extend licence of all 89 lots in the city to the Zone-I contractor for a period of six months on increased fee or till the time a new contract is allotted, whichever is earlier. The House instead resolved that the civic body would run the parking spaces till the time a new agency was hired.
Raising transparency issues and questions over parking branch officers, BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi questioned Mayor Anup Gupta on how the agenda for allocating contract to the Zone-I contractor had been tabled in the House with his consent.
“Why was the agenda regarding new tender not floated in the House three months before the parking contract was to expire? We have nothing to do with contractors. We all have been contracted by city residents, who have sent us to the House,” he said, alleging subletting of parking lots was being done and officers were silent over it.
Echoing his views, BJP councillor and Senior Deputy Mayor Kanwarjit Singh Rana said: “There should be a committee, comprising two councillors from all parties and nominated councillors, to look into the parking issue. Besides, it should be ensured not even a single rupee under the new parking tender is increased. Officers responsible for the parking issue should be penalised and subletting checked.”
Tearing into MC officers, Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat raised questions over “smart parking”. “Before each tender, promise of making parking lots smart is made. But that never happens. Instead, contractors fail to deposit their fee like previous contractor Arya Toll Infra Ltd.”
Party councillor Gurpeet Singh Gabi said claims of putting up display boards, installing automatic boom barriers and introducing a mobile application for people to book or view parking space remained unfulfilled.
AAP’s Prem Lata sought to know why dues from the previous contractor and the current Zone II contract could not be recovered.
MC Commissioner Anindita Mitra later said: “Councillors should level allegations by name. No generalised allegations should be made. Please name the officer concerned, we will act.” The councillors did not respond.
She further said the dues pending on part of the Zone II contractor would be recovered from the assets. The Arya recovery case was pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Mayor Gupta said a parking committee would be formed.
Agenda faces opposition from councillors
Contract for 57 Zone II parking lots expired on January 23, that of Zone I agency, managing 32 lots, ends on Jan 31Agenda to give licence for 89 lots to Zone I agency for 6 months on increased fee or till a new contract is allotted was tabledCouncillors opposed the move and House resolved that MC will run the parking spaces till the time a new agency is hired by the corporation
MC to collect fee, pay to agency
MC Commissioner Anindita Mitra has said under their new contract, payment from visitors will be collected through UPI directly into the MC account and the parking contractor will be paid by the civic body later. At present, reverse is being done.
Why no tender 3 months ago?
Why was agenda regarding new tender not floated in the House three months before the parking contract was to expire? — Saurabh Joshi, BJP councillor