When the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation recently announced that it will streamline the monthly parking system at its stations to benefit regular commuters, what it forgot to mention was an impending hike in parking fee.

Commuters who are regulars at the parking lots of the metro will have to loosen their purse strings in the coming days. At some parking bays, a hike in fees has already been implemented. For instance at Rohini commuters now have to pay Rs.500 instead of Rs.300 for a monthly parking facility and at Patel Chowk too commuters have been warned of a similar hike in fees.

“All of a sudden without any intimation the parking fee was increased by Rs.200. There should have been some kind of a notice at least,” complained Sanjay Mehra, a regular commuter and a smart card user who parks his car at the Rohini station to commute to Connaught Place by metro.

The DMRC for its part claims that the parking lots are run by contractors who are hired after inviting bids. “Each parking lot is run by a contractor selected after a bidding process. These contractors are hired for a two-year term and they decide the parking fees after assessing the market. They pay the DMRC a certain fee per month, which is decided after taking into account the footfalls at the station,” said an official.

He said the contracts for the parking lots currently in use will soon be renewed and the fee at most of these stations is likely to increase. “Each contractor will decide on the monthly fee and not the DMRC. At some stations the contract renewal has been carried out and other will follow suit,” the official said.

“The parking fee at the DMRC stations is decided after market research and it is much less when compared with the fees levied by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi or the New Delhi Municipal Council.”

Faced with a parking crunch at its stations, the DMRC recently announced that the bays will now be open to only regular commuters with smart cards using the metro at least 20 times each month or 50 times in three months. The process has been started on a pilot basis at the Vishwavidyalaya metro station.

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