Ludhiana, October 2
As the ‘parking mafia’ has been active in the city for years, fleecing of visitors is going on unabatedly and in the absence of any checks at several parking facilities in the city. It highlights the MC’s inability to take effective measures to combat overcharging and exploitation of visitors at the parking lots. The AAP MLAs concerned have also turned a blind eye to the issue affecting the public.
Overcharging at Bhadaur House parking lot
On Monday, an advocate, Gaganpreet Singh, was compelled to pay Rs 50 for parking his car for less than 30 minutes at the Bhadaur House market lot near AC Market. “Despite the official parking fee for a car being Rs 20 for the initial two hours, an employee of the contractor charged Rs 50 for parking my car. Moreover, there was no congestion in the parking area, as both AC and Bhadaur House markets were closed on Monday,” he said.
Subsequently, the advocate lodged a complaint with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann against the ‘parking mafia’ and called for stringent action to be taken. He said: “I have urged the Chief Minister to address the issue of the parking mafia.”
Parking fee signs at the Bhadaur House and AC market lots are not adequately displayed and contractor’s personnel often lack uniforms and identification cards.
The problem of overcharging also persists at the Sarabha Nagar parking lot as well. Jaskaran Singh, a resident of Dugri, was initially asked to pay Rs 50 for less than an hour of car parking on Monday. On raising objection, he was told to pay Rs 30 for parking. He, too, demanded action against those responsible for these violations.
Furthermore, even at the multi-storey parking facility adjacent to the MC’s Zone A office, there is no oversight to prevent the exploitation of visitors. Former Congress councillor Parminder Mehta alleged that the parking mafia operates with the connivance of AAP leaders.
He claimed: “There is no effective regulation in place, especially at the multi-storey parking lot near the MC’s Zone A office, Bhadaur House and AC market lots. Whenever visitors raise their voices, they face intimidation from the contractor’s workers as the municipal body has failed to address the issue.”
MC’s Joint Commissioner Kulpreet Singh could not be contacted for comments.
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