Chandigarh: In a move that surprised hundreds of casual workers, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh took over paid parking lots of the UT because of the failure of the contracting firm’s inability to pay the due to the corporation.
Parking in the UT was in the hands of a private firm Arya Toll Infra Ltd, which failed to clear license fees to the tune of Rs 3.69 crore.
The cancellation order signed by parking branch head Tejdeep Singh Saini, the contract was cancelled because the firm did not clear its payment within the stipulated time. It also said the firm was given reasonable time to clear the payment but it chose to violate the agreement.
As per the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the firm, it is bound to pay quarterly advance. The payment of the ongoing quarter (June to September) was due on June 19 but the firm failed to pay it even after its two-week grace period lapsed earlier this week.
Outraged by the decision, workers of Arya Toll Infra Ltd gathered outside the MC office at sector 17 on July 10. Headed by Jyoti, Supervisor of 34A Parking lot, workers gathered to protest against the decision of MC. The workers allege that they did not received prior notice pertaining to the new policy and had not been paid for the last two months salary.
“Around 500 workers have lost their job in a jiffy. The majority of workers are from poor families and have lots of responsibilities on their shoulders. We don’t aim to blame the MC or our firm, but the sole purpose is to get back our jobs. I don’t understand why the authority can’t understand our deplorable condition”, says Jyoti while asking the workers to maintain peace.
According to Harjeet, a worker, they were promised five years of employment but this decision has “left us all in a state of misery where we all feel cheated and betrayed”.
“I have to pay the fee of my children who study in a government school. When I got the job last year, I was happy that now I could provide my children with proper education. Being a woman, I felt empowered. Moreover, their promise of providing five years of employment made my will stronger but this overnight decision has left me baffled. It seems like my world has shattered,” said Cheena, who is a single mother, seeking justice against the malfeasance. The workers were determined to move the Labour Court.
According to MC public relations officer Sanjeev, Chandigarh Mayor Davesh Moudgil has promised to take few old employees.