Ludhiana, September 25
In the midst of exploitation of visitors and overcharging at some parking lots in the city, Local Bodies Minister Balkar Singh has stated that the Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner will investigate the matter and appropriate action would be taken if any violation is found. Balkar Singh made these remarks during his visit to review the Rejuvenation of Buddha Nullah project here on Monday.
When asked about reports of visitors being overcharged at various parking lots under the Municipal Corporation, Balkar Singh said he would instruct the MC Commissioner to conduct a thorough examination and take action if any violations were found. According to sources in the MC, a local AAP MLA is supporting the contractor accused of overcharging visitors. But the minister has denied any such allegations.
Numerous instances have come to light where visitors were forced to pay more than the prescribed parking fees at the MC’s Bhadaur House and AC Market parking lots, MC’s Multi-level parking lot near Mata Rani Chowk and Sarabha Nagar lots. For instance, at Bhadaur House and Multi-level lots, visitors were recently charged Rs 100 for car parking, whereas the prescribed fee was Rs 20 for the first two hours of parking.
Earlier this month, a visitor filed a complaint with the police, alleging that he and his friends were attacked by a group of persons when he objected to overcharging at AC Market. An FIR was registered against the suspects at the Division No. 1 police station.
Before the previous Assembly elections, some AAP leaders from Ludhiana held a press conference, accusing a parking mafia of operating in the city. They had promised to eliminate the mafia if AAP came to power but the promise remains unfulfilled.
Meanwhile, the Local Bodies Minister said they had already issued directives to MC commissioners across the state to take strict action against illegal constructions. Nonetheless, sources indicate that several illegal constructions were still on in the city.
During his visit to the city, the minister also reviewed the ongoing Rs 650 crore project, aimed at cleaning the Buddha Dariya. He inspected the 225 MLD sewer treatment plant (STP) in Jamalpur, the intermediate pumping station in Sundar Nagar and the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) of the Bahadurke textile Industry.
Balkar Singh held a meeting with officials and industrialists during his visit to the STP and CETP to expedite the Buddha Nullah cleaning project and address any industry-related issues. He urged the dyeing industry to cooperate with the authorities to reduce pollution levels in the nullah. The minister mentioned the formation of a committee involving industrialists and the possibility of installing more CETPs in the city, if needed. A committee meeting would be convened to discuss future actions for cleaning the nullah.
The minister emphasised on the state government’s commitment to clean the ‘Buddha Dariya’ and directed the authorities to expedite the project and complete it as soon as possible.
Ward delimitation process still underway
Even six months after the term of the previous Municipal Corporation’s General House ended, the schedule for the upcoming elections remains uncertain. The previous MC’s House term ended on March 25, 2023. Responding to the query about when the MC elections will be held, the minister said the process of ward delimitation was currently in progress.
It’s worth noting that a draft notification for ward delimitation was previously issued and approximately 160 objections were lodged in response to it, as per information.
Several instances reported at lots
Numerous instances have come to light where visitors were forced to pay more than the prescribed parking fees at the MC’s Bhadaur House and AC Market parking lots, MC’s Multi-level parking lot near Mata Rani Chowk and Sarabha Nagar lots.
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