New Delhi: In good news for motorists in the capital, the New Delhi Municipal Council has decided not to affect the hefty hike in parking rates from August 1 as announced earlier.
The corporation said it has decided to defer effecting the hike as no private entity participated in the tender process for operating the parking lots with revised rates.
The last date for submission of bids was July 23 and NDMC officials said high reserved rates for the parking lots may be one of the reasons for no response to the tender process by the private operators.
They said the NDMC has now decided to continue with the existing parking rates as the whole process of inviting tender and finalising the contractor will take time.
The civic body decided to hike parking rates significantly with an aim to discourage use of private vehicles and decongest various roads in Connaught Place.
According to the revised rates, parking in NDMC areas would cost Rs 20 for the first hour and would go up by Rs 20 for each subsequent hour with the maximum being Rs 100 for four-wheeler owners. The current rate is Rs 10 for the first two hours and Rs 10 per hour thereafter.
The new parking rates were to come into effect from August 1.
"Our immediate task is to figure out the reasons behind non-participation by the contractors. Till then the old contractors will carry on with their contract and they will continue charging the existing rates," NDMC spokesperson AK Mishra said.
The licence of the contractors operating the parking lots had lapsed in May.
"It is possible that the contractors have formed a cartel and none of them have submitted bids in protest to a decision by the NDMC to bring in force a reserve price per parking lot," an NDMC official said.
The civic body had earlier taken a decision to initiate a reserve price -- the minimum price at which the contractors have to submit their bids -- per parking lot.
When contacted, the contractors had their share of listed problems with the tender floated by the civic body.
"For the first time, NDMC has given us a reserve price and told us not to bid below 97 lakh which is a very big amount for us," said a contractor.
The contractors also complained about the "high security amount" they have to pay to NDMC for the parking lots.
According to the civic body, all the issues the contractors have raised are being addressed.
Delhi Government in March had approved a long-pending proposal to hike parking rates sharply, primarily to curb the increasing number of private vehicles.
The government had directed the municipal bodies to effect the hike but three BJP-ruled civic bodies -- East Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation refused to implement it.