Railways have increased the parking fee from 75 to 100 per cent without giving any reason.

Railways’ decision to steeply increase the fee for parking vehicles in the designated parking lots on the railway station premises across the country from Sunday, without improving the facilities, has come in for severe criticism from the commuters and public alike.

Railways have increased the parking fee from 75 to 100 per cent without giving any reason. It is learnt that Railways are mobilising resources as the planners have suggested to keep Railways profit-making.

The worst affected are two-wheeler riders as the minimum parking fee (up to two hours) in this category in A1 and A class railway stations has been increased from Rs.2 to Rs.5. Parking fee for cars has been increased from Rs.5 to Rs.10; fee for vehicles having seating capacity up to 11 has gone up from Rs.10 to Rs.15; and that for buses having more than 11 seats has been increased to Rs.100.

The monthly parking fee for cycles has been made Rs.120 and that for vehicles used by differently abled has gone up to Rs.200.

“This was a bolt from the blue for me as I am trying to make both ends meet. The hefty hike has been effected without taking any steps to provide facilities such as covered parking for two-wheelers,” a government employee who travels to Kollam daily after parking his two-wheeler at the Central railway station here said. In the case of motorcycles, the increase is 74 per cent and it is 100 per cent for cars. The decision of Railways not to hike the parking fee of luxury cars having up to five seats, and grouping all class of light motor vehicles in one category have come in for criticism from the public and the contractors.

In Thiruvananthapuram Central station that has a 4,500 sq ft. parking area, covered parking is available only for the vehicles of railway staff and those who fall under the premium category.

The roads that lead to the parking lot are narrow and there is no adequate security for the parked vehicles. Theft of petrol, helmets and so on are common.

The only solace is that computerised slip has been introduced and a small area in the parking lot has been earmarked for women for parking two-wheelers.

Those who have taken parking lots on contract say that Railways have asked them to pay 55 per cent extra from this month.

Keywords: Railwaysparking fee