The Lahore Parking Company (LPC) Limited held its first board meeting at the Town Hall on Saturday and selected a managing director and chairman.
Lahore Additional Commissioner Dr Usman Ali Khan was selected as managing director, PML-N MPA Hafiz Mian Noman as chairman and DCO Noorul Amin Mengal as vice chairman. The formula to recruit employees, pay and opening accounts was also decided. It was agreed that the DCO would send the chief minister a summary for an amount of Rs200 million.
The participants of the meeting included the DCO, PML-N MPA Ramzan Bhatti, Finance and Planning EDO Moazzam Sipra, Municipal Services EDO Masood Tamanna, Lahore Transport Company CEO Kh Haider Lateef and City Traffic Officer Dr Usman Anwar.
The LPC was recently registered as a profit-making company with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan on the orders of the government. It is expected to take charge of all parking stands operated by the city district government (CDGL) after signing a formal agreement with the CDGL and town municipal administrations. The District Office of Public Facilities (DO PF) is currently in charge of the city’s 367 parking lots. According to official records, 160 of these are no longer operational. Hundreds of unapproved parking stands are also operating in the city.
Municipal Services EDO Tamana said the LPC would have to perform since it had been registered as a profit-making company. “The LTC will generate a profit from day one after taking a hundred million rupees in revenue for all parking stand tenders.” He said the company would try to improve profits by eliminating loopholes in the system.
“The company’s first challenge will be to learn the reasons behind the closed parking stands and trace all unapproved parking stands in the city,” he said.
He said it would have to gradually bring unapproved parking stands into its ambit and generate revenue from them. He said new park and ride plazas would be built by the company. He said a Turksih firm would help the LPC and an agreement in this regard had already been signed. He said they had initially proposed a staff of over 350. “The company will need three times the proposed staff to manage the existing 367 parking stands,” he said.
He said staff will be hired gradually. He said 12 officers from the District Management Group and other groups were interviewed for the post of LPC MD.
Newly-appointed LPC MD Dr Usman told The Tribune the current number of parking stands was not enough for a city of more than 12.5 million.
“We need to upgrade parking stands using modern technology,” he said. “One does not need hundreds of people to man parking stands. The use of appropriate technologies can reduce the number of staff required.” He said better parking arrangements would help reduce the city’s traffic problems.
He said the company would start working with a staff of between thirty and forty for the first few months. He said the company’s organisational structure had not yet been finalised although a planning wing, cooperative wing and operations wing had been proposed. He said a formal agreement, to be vetted by CDGL, the Finance Department and Law Department, would be signed between LPC, CDLG and the TMAs, after which they would take over the charge of all the parking stands in the city.
He said the DO PF would initially work in liaison with LPC. “The company will have to improve performance to justify its existence,” he said. Asked about political pressures in parking stands, he said the media would be free to criticise the performance of the company.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.
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