Dushyant Singh Pundir
Chandigarh, May 24
The UT Administration has directed the Municipal Corporation to prepare an action taken report in connection with the alleged parking scam. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had recently sought a report from the administration on the issue.
The report was sought after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointed out inaction by the administration in the matter of short recovery of parking fee by the MC from two licencees and loss of stamp duty and registration fee due to non-registration of the lease agreement.
According to information, a firm, Paschatya Entertainment Private Limited, was awarded the contract of 57 parking lots in Zone 2 in 2020, which ended in January this year. But the firm failed to pay a licence fee of nearly Rs 7 crore to the MC. On account of failure to pay the fee, the MC had then made a claim to cash three bank guarantees of Rs 1.65 crore each, but the bank claimed no such guarantees had been issued by its branch.
On a complaint filed by the MC, the police had booked the directors of Pashchatya Entertainment Pvt Ltd. The prime accused, Anil Kumar Sharma, and six others, including Sanjay Sharma, Anil’s accountant Ajay Kumar and a bank employee, were arrested.
A senior UT official said after receiving the communication from the MHA, the officials concerned of the MC had been directed to prepare a detailed action taken report, which would be submitted to the ministry.
The MC had recently chargesheeted parking branch’s Sub-Divisional Engineer (SDE) Jagdeep Singh, Superintendents Monil Chauhan and Sunil Dutt, senior assistants Kulbhushan and Pooja Kainth and junior assistant Shakun.
The MC had also asked the administration to initiate action against then parking branch in-charge SK Jain, a retired Haryana Civil Services officer. The action had been taken for not doing “due diligence” in the matter.
The case dates back to 2020 when the MC allotted 89 (32+57) paid parking spaces in Zones I and II for a period of three years on a licence fee basis. The two contractors, Pashchatya Entertainment Pvt Ltd and Ram Sundar Prasad Singh, were to pay certain amount of stamp duty while taking possession of the parking lots, but each of them had submitted Rs 4 lakh less.
An MC officer said the two contractors paid Rs 8 lakh less stamp duty. The action comes following a CAG report in the matter.
Rs 7 crore loss to civic body
- In 2020, MC allots 89 (32+57) paid parking spaces in Zones I and II for a period of three years on a licence fee basis
- Paschatya Entertainment Pvt Ltd is awarded contract of 57 parking lots in Zone 2 of UT; contract ends in January this year
- After the firm fails to pay Rs 7 cr in licence fee to the MC, latter tries to cash its 3 bank guarantees of Rs 1.65 crore each, but the bank says it has issued none
- Further, Paschatya and another contractor, Ram Sundar Prasad Singh, pay Rs 8 lakh less in stamp duty while taking the possession of parking lots from the MC
- CAG points out inaction by UT over short recovery of parking fee by MC and loss of stamp duty & registration fee due to non-registration of lease agreement
Arrests so far
- Contractor Anil Sharma and six others, including director Sanjay Sharma, Anil’s accountant Ajay Kumar & bank employee, have been arrested
- The civic body recently chargesheeted parking branch SDE Jagdeep Singh, Supdts Monil Chauhan & Sunil Dutt, senior assitants Kulbhushan & Pooja Kainth, & a junior assistant
CBI probing matter
The CBI this week seized documents related to parking scam. Officials spent eight hours at MC office and questioned various officers besides taking away relevant documents.
Chaos in parking lots
In the absence of contractors, MC has deputed its staff to manage parking lots at various locations in the city. However, motorists complain of chaos in the parking lots as workers seldom guide them after issuing the slip.
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