Shimla Parking overchaging

Video: Unabated overcharging at Shimla’s parking lots continues

Without any fear, the staff argued that he is being over-charged as the size of the vehicle was larger. As per the local, the rate list did not mention anything regarding the charges on the basis of size of a car.

Shimla: Overcharging at the car parking lots of the Shimla Municipal Corporation still continues despite several complaints and media reports. With the arrival of the tourist season, this corrupt practice sees a surge.

Along with tourists, the locals are bearing the brunt of this ongoing corruption under the open patronage of the MC. The MC can solve this problem easily by computerizing these parking complexes. Surprisingly, built with a budget of crores of rupees, the SMC is hesitating to computerize these parkings.

Shimla mC parking slip  

 The SMC is also avoiding placement of larger boards with better visibility.

A local shared a fresh video with Himachal Watcher that he recorded at the new parking complex on the Cart Road.

The local alleged that he was asked to pay Rs.100 for period of 0 – 2 hours. The local asked the staff to show him the rate list. As per the rate list displayed on a A4 paper, the rate for parking a car for the said period was Rs. 35.

Without any fear, the staff argued that he is being over-charged as the size of the vehicle was larger. As per the local, the rate list did not mention anything regarding the charges on the basis of size of a car.

However, the staff denied a receipt of Rs. 100. As the local pointed his mobile cam towards the staff and inquired about the absence of any such rule regarding the size of cars, the staff was compelled to charge Rs. 59 – the official rate for a period of 2-4 hours.

This rate rises to Rs. 200- 250 for tourists, said the local citing the experience of his friend, who had arrived from Chandigarh. The rate of overcharging is decided on the basis of their number plates, he said. 

Himachal Watcher tried to reach the Commissioner  and the Mayor for a statement, but they were not available.   

The inadequacy of parking spaces has created traffic chaos in the city. The new parking complex were expected to provide some relief from it.

However, the contractors, who are running these parking lots on contractd, are exploiting this inadequacy by overcharging people.

In the tourist season, the prices are unlawfully hiked by three to five times.

This practice of overcharging is prevalent since several years now. In 2011, a tourist from Delhi had filed a complaint with the local police alleging that he was made to pay Rs. 150 against the actual rate of Rs. 60 for 24 hours.

The action of the MC against the culprits is so rare that in 2013, then Commissioner M.P.Sood had made headlines for imposing a fine on the contractor of a parking for the first time.  

The complaints were also received during 2016 and beginning of the 2017. The contractors were not providing receipts to the people and even tempered with the rate lists displayed by the MC.

Due to the same reason, in May 2016, the State Government had asked the SMC to produce all records related to the function of the parking lots.

Sadly, the state of affairs did not get any better. The people mostly associate this liberty to charge exorbitant fees to corruption in the SMC. People believe, the responsible officials at the SMC also dervie benfits from the overcharging. At least, this what SMC’s reluctance in compurizing the parking lots and placing large board to display official rates suggest. 

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