Passengers at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) these days are more worried about finding space to park their vehicles than availability of buses in the station.
Parking woes of vehicle-owners, particularly of two-wheelers, gets compounded on weekends when majority of the employees travel to their hometowns.
There are three parking lots on the station premises and nearly 600 vehicles are parked in each of them everyday. But on weekends and public holidays, over 1,200 vehicles are getting crammed in each lot and forcing parking agents to hang a ‘Parking Full’ board.
Travel by taxis
“It is tough to find parking space on Saturdays and Sundays at MGBS. Parking agents do not issue tickets, citing lack of space. We are forced to travel in taxis or autorickshaws to the station shelling exorbitant fares,” says Rajendranath Goud, a bank employee.
Agents charge Rs. 3 as parking fee for the first three hours, Rs. 5 for the next 15 hours and Rs. 8 for 24 hours. Despite paying the demanded parking charges, parking agents do not take any responsibility when a vehicle is parked outside their parking lot. There is no option but to heed to their demands, says E. Pradeep, a businessman.
Vexed with parking woes, vehicle owners park the vehicles at their own risk near the main entrance and other places on the station premises.
“We are helpless. The RTC authorities levy a fine of Rs.5,000 when they find vehicles parked out of the earmarked spaces,” says Swamy of Venkateshwara Parking Agency. However, RTC authorities claim they provide temporary parking space to vehicle owners.
During public holidays and weekends, additional parking space is provided near the GHMC Garbage Transfer station end and bus parking lot in the station, says APSRTC Ranga Reddy Regional Manager, Ravindra Babu.
“In addition to this, a requisition is being made to the corporation to construct multi-storied parking lots under Build-Operate-Transfer system in the station,” he says.