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Egmore car parking lot unused

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Waiting for customers: Dozens of four-wheelers can be parked on the vast open space available near the Poonamallee High Road side entrance to Egmore Railway Station.
Waiting for customers: Dozens of four-wheelers can be parked on the vast open space available near the Poonamallee High Road side entrance to Egmore Railway Station.

R. Srikanth

Visitors are not keen to park their vehicles in the absence of an attendant

CHENNAI: A vast open and developed space enough to accommodate dozens of cars at any given time remains largely unused near the entrance to the Egmore Railway Station from the Poonamallee High Road.

Such a situation prevails even as hundreds of visitors to the railway station struggle, many of them even squabble with the attendant and other users, over the limited parking space near the entrance from Gandhi-Irwin Road.

R. Umapathy, a resident of Jamalia who frequently comes to the Egmore station, complained that the four-wheeler parking space at the old entrance (from Gandhi Irwin Road) always remained crammed with cars round the clock.

According to regular visitors to the station over two years after inauguration of the entrance from the Poonamallee High Road, parking facilities are available only for two-wheelers and bicycles. With the Southern Railway yet to appoint contractor to manage the four-wheeler parking lot, visitors are not keen to park their vehicles in the absence of an attendant. Many of those who do not mind parking their cars there are not aware about the facility.

The Poonamallee High Road side entrance and other facilities were established at the cost of Rs.5.5 crore.

They were created for the benefit of visitors and passengers from central localities such as Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Vepery, ICF and Ayanavaram.

The other facilities including foot overbridges with ramps, a dormitory, reservation facilities, current ticket booking counter, lift facilities for the handicapped, a circulating area of about 12,000 sq.m. for bus bays, and parking for four and two-wheelers were developed.

An official of Southern Railway said that the response to the tenders, floated twice, calling for bids from agencies to manage the four-wheeler parking space was not encouraging.

The official accused the contractors of forming a cartel to bring down the reserve price of the contract.

On other facilities that have been proposed to be provided at the entrance from the Poonamallee High Road side, the official said: “There is a proposal to introduce pre-paid autorickshaw services, for which Southern Railway is in talks with traffic police for revenue sharing agreement.” There is also a proposal to shift the ‘premium’ parking lot for four-wheelers to the Poonamallee High Road side, the official added.

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