Excess fee, lack of complaint redress system major issues

As the city road network is being stretched to the limit, motorists' dependence on inter-modal transfer facility has increased.

Inter-modal transfer facility enables people to park their vehicles before using the public transport system. The relevance of such an arrangement is felt more by those who rely on suburban trains. But, such an important facility suffers from several shortcomings — lack of basic infrastructure, levy of excess parking fee, lack of complaint redress system and the presence of a large number of parking attendants, for whom civility is a rare quality.

S. Harsha, a regular commuter from Kodambakkam, says that compared to the new parking sites developed on the Mass Rapid Transit System section, the sites on the Tambaram-Beach and other suburban sections are marked by pot-holed platforms, no shelters and arrogant parking attendants. “While parking a two-wheeler, costing thousands of rupees, the basic facility of a paved platform is at least required. What disturbs people is that those who are in charge of the parking sites do not assume responsibility for loss/theft of vehicles or damage caused to the vehicles,” he points out.

At the Guindy Railway Station [where one of the parking sites is located close to the Race Course], commuters speak of the problem of overcharging of the fee. People using the Thiruvanmiyur and Kasutriba MRTS railway stations too, have similar woes to narrate. In Kodambakkam and Mambalam, commuters complain about parking contractors not issuing monthly passes, even though parking contracts have a clause in this regard.

Another common feature of the parking sites of Guindy, Kodambakkam, Mambalam and Egmore (on the Poonamallee High Road) is that display boards on the parking fee, a mandatory requirement, do not simply exist.

Even where there are some, the boards are located inconspicuously, defeating the purpose of the requirement.

Response to complaints

Responding to the complaints, Divisional Railway Manager S. Anantharaman says the supervision of parking sites is a continuous process. His organisation has been conducting surprise inspections of such sites. Heavy penalties are in deed levied on those who do not adhere to the provisions of the contract.

As for the issue of display boards, the official says that instructions have been issued to see to it that the boards are installed at the parking sites immediately.