Visitors at the parking lot of the city bus stand are being taken for a ride as they are being charged even for brief halts at the spot.
The parking staff not only charges them arbitrarily but also indulges in verbal spats, if the former resists.
Sources said it’s been only six months since the Punjab Roadways took charge of the parking lots from a private company Welspun Pvt Ltd, and it has already started minting money at the expense of hundreds of visitors’ who come to city bus stand daily.
Hari Om Jindal, who was fleeced at the city bus stand recently, said, “I went to drop a family friend at the city bus stand. At the entrance of the parking lot, staff members asked me to pay Rs 10 as an advance parking fee, while the remaining Rs 10, I was asked to pay while leaving. When I told them that rules state that as per rules, there are no charges if somebody comes to drop and leave within five minutes, they simply turned a deaf ear and started arguing with me. I was getting late for an important work-related obligation, so I had no choice but to shell out Rs 20.”
Balwant Garg, a frequent visitor to the city bus stand, said, “The private company, which earlier held the charge was managing the operations diligently, but ever since the Punjab Roadways took charge, they are only looking at generating revenues at the expense of passengers’ convenience. Earlier, visitors were allowed to stay for 5 to 10 minutes without having to pay but Punjab Roadways has changed these rules. Not only this, it has also doubled the parking fee in the last six months.”
When contacted, Rashpal Singh Makhu, general manager, Punjab Roadways, Ludhiana, said, “The visitors come and tell the parking staff that they will stay for a few minutes while they often exceed the time limit. I will look into the matter and take appropriate action.”