Flouting norms of divisional railway authority, the parking contractor outside the station is fleecing visitors. While the contractor has been charging arbitrarily, the railway authorities at the station expressed ignorance about the matter.
HT possesses a detailed copy of the agreement signed between the contractor and railway authorities at regional divisional railway manager’s office at Ferozepur, and it has been found that the its norms are being violated unabashedly.
The agreement clearly states that the parking charges for a two-wheeler motorcycle/scooter for a period up to four hours is Rs 5, while Rs 10 will be charged for a period of above four hours till 24 hours. The helmet charges are Rs 10 for four hours and Rs 15 for more than four hours. But, opposite to this, Rs 5 are nowhere mentioned on the receipt issued by the parking staff.
As per the document procured from the divisional office, the contract of the main parking lot adjacent to the entrance of the railway station has been allocated to the contractor from May 23, 2012 to May 22, 2015.
The workings and the parameters adopted by the railway management board at Ludhiana junction while allocating contracts to the parties has also come under scanner, as the same contractor is getting the main parking lot as well as the one at Civil Lines allocated to his name. Interestingly, this contractor has been running these two parking lots at railway station since 2010, and has even acquired allocations for them till 2017.
To conduct a reality check HT team visited the parking lot, and they were charged Rs 10 for parking a two-wheeler for 15 minutes.
The copy of the contract details was acquired through Right to Information (RTI) by a city resident, Ravi Sharma. Ravleen Kaur, a passenger, said, “They not only overcharge, but the behaviour of the parking lot staff is also not so cooperative. They can often be seen entering into verbal spats with visitors.”
When contacted, station superintendent Yashwant Singh initially expressed ignorance over the matter, but, later said that these were the revised rates and these were revised by the divisional authority.
“Since, I have joined recently, this matter is brought to my notice for the first time. I will thoroughly look into the matter and if any party are found violating norms, strict action will be taken against him/her.”
HT also has the possession of copies of 15 complaints against the parking contractor, which feature overcharging and misbehaviour with visitors among others.
On being asked about the number of complaints regarding fleecing of visitors by the parking contractor at railway station, Singh said, “I have joined recently, I will try to find out the actual matter.”