Visitors at the Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Inter State Bus Terminus are a harried lot for the past three days. They are now shelling out double the money to park their vehicles at the bus stand, after revised rates came into effect.
Visitors are more or less paying the same amount for 12 hours that they were paying for a whole day. Earlier, two-wheeler owners paid Rs 9 for a day. They are now paying Rs 20. The revised fee for 12 hours is Rs 10. Car owners now pay Rs 40 for a day instead of Rs 21. The revised charges for 12 hours for parking cars is Rs 20.
The fee for parking cycles has increased from Rs 2 for a day from Rs 1.5 while the revised fee for a rickshaw is Rs 5 for a day. The fee was Rs 2 for a day before. An auto driver is now paying Rs 10 per trip, instead of Rs 7.
No respite for daily commuters
The move has mostly affected daily commuters who travel to other towns, villages and cities. To top it all, there is no pass system available for them. However, the transport department is looking into introducing a pass system for daily visitors.
Many have echoed the same need. “I often travel between Ludhiana and Chandigarh. Earlier, I was paying Rs 21 for a day. Now, I pay Rs 40,” said Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, adding, “the authorities should start a monthly pass system at low rates for daily visitors. Vehicles that come for pick and drop purpose must not be charged.”
The transport department has also done away with four-hour and eight-hour parking slots. “I park my bike here daily. The hike in the fee is shocking. I was earlier paying Rs 3 for four hours. Now I pay Rs 10 for the same time. The authorities should roll back this decision,” said a commuter Davinder Kumar.
A rickshaw puller, Ravi says, “It is difficult for me to manage my monthly budget. The government does not think about the poor. I will have to pay more every time and this will upset my budget.”
Monthly pass system may be introduced
An employee of the Punjab Roadways, on condition of anonymity, claimed that many visitors get into arguments over the revised parking rates. “We are helpless. We have to charge fee as per instructions by higher authorities. The common man travels by bus and hundreds of visitors park their vehicles here,” he said.
RPS Makkhu, general manager, Punjab Roadways Ludhiana, said parking rates were revised by the state transport department. He further said they had sent a proposal for the facility of monthly passes for daily visitors.