LAHORE, July 1: The Lahore Parking Company faced tough resistance from contractors, as it tried to take control of 88 prime parking lots in the Punjab capital on Monday.
The contract term of these parking lots expired on June 30 with the end of the last financial year.
The company’s teams meant for taking over the control of these parking lots were accompanied by senior police officials and assistant commissioners, but no senior official of city district government’s public facility department accompanied them to the daylong operation.
The teams faced resistance in Gulberg, on Circular Road and on The Mall as well as a protest rally by contractors at Town Hall, forcing police to register cases against many contractors over ‘interference in state affairs’. The contractors or their men at parking lots allegedly thrashed company officials when they reached there to takeover the parking lots.
According to an insider, the protesters abused company officials at Town Hall and demanded extension to their years old parking contracts.
As the Lahore Parking Company is a subsidiary of the city district government, its public utility department was supposed to ensure smooth transfer of parking lots to the company but it did not, an official said.
By the end of the day, the company got cases registered against 20 contractors or their men and took control of 76 of the 88 parking lots.
An official said public facility department officials, especially tax collectors who were previously running entire city’s parking lots, seemed to be behind the protest and resistance put up by the contractors.
The parking company has been working without a permanent managing director for the last couple of months. Though the government recently appointed Mian Shakeel (a DMG officer) as company’s managing director, he refused to work under the incumbent Lahore district coordination officer, who is a PCS officer and company’s vice-chairman.
DCO Naseem Sadiq said the city government extended its full support to the company to take over the parking lots. He said he was unaware of the reasons of Mian Shakeel’s refusal to work as managing director of the company. He said appointment of company managing director was government’s job and he couldn’t do anything about it.