Ludhiana MC’s latest rider to parking lot tender norms likely to favour ‘tainted’ contractors - Hindustan Times
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Ludhiana MC’s latest rider to parking lot tender norms likely to favour ‘tainted’ contractors

By, Ludhiana
Oct 17, 2022 04:22 AM IST

Ludhiana MC’s move is expected to restrict the competition and deter new firms from participating in the e-auction as only two groups of parking contractors, allegedly backed by politicians, have been largely availing contracts in the city for last around a decade

Amid hue and cry over ‘fleecing’ at the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) parking lots, the latest riders introduced under the new tender floated by the civic body to select contractors are likely to favour a ‘tainted’ few, who had been availing the contracts for around a decade.

Ludhiana MC has reintroduced the condition that makes it compulsory for the bidder to have at least one year’s experience in running a government parking lot. (HT file photo)
Ludhiana MC has reintroduced the condition that makes it compulsory for the bidder to have at least one year’s experience in running a government parking lot. (HT file photo)

After extending the date for e-auction of nine parking lots for the second time in the past one week, MC has introduced a condition that makes it compulsory for the bidder to at least have one year’s experience in running a government parking lot. The e-auction has now been scheduled for October 20.

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This move is expected to restrict the competition and deter new firms from participating in the e-auction as only two groups of parking contractors, allegedly backed by politicians, have been largely availing contracts in the city for last around a decade. As only these firms have experience, no new bidder will be able to come forward for the e-auction.

One of the new contractors -- Dravid Securities -- has also submitted a complaint at the MC commissioner’s office stating that the latest terms and condition will restrict competition in the e-auction. Claiming that the rider has been introduced to favour a few contractors, the complainant said it will also result in loss to state exchequer due to lack of competition.

The firm added that there was no need of experience as the contractor only has to deploy staff and issue digital receipts to the visitors. All other conditions, including installation of surveillance cameras, can be fulfilled even by the new contractor, it was mentioned. The contractor also alleged that the date of e-auction was being extended to find a way to favour a few contractors.

One of the MC officials, on the condition of anonymity, said all of this was a part of the tussle between different groups of contractors. “The Congress and the AAP are backing different groups of contractors, which has resulted in a tussle. Keeping this aide, the MC should remove the condition of one-year experience as it will reduce competition and certain contractors will be able to avail contracts at lower rates. As both the groups of parking contractors have been involved in overcharging in the past, entry of new players should be allowed with an aim to bring the change,” he added.

Meanwhile, MC superintendent Harvinder Dhalla said the condition of one-year experience has been reimposed just to ensure that the contractors can run the parking lots properly. “Earlier too, this condition was a part of the tender, but was removed a few years ago. This has again been introduced on the directions of the higher authorities,” Dhalla added.

Will take up the matter with officials: Mayor

Mayor Balkar Sandhu said he had ordered the removal of this condition around four years ago and MC’s revenue from parking lot contracts shot up significantly. “It should not be reintroduced as this will reduce competition, which will ultimately result in revenue loss. I will take up the matter with MC commissioner Shena Aggarwal,” the mayor said.

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