Perennial shortage of parking contractors at MRTS stations

June 08, 2014 03:18 am | Updated 03:18 am IST - CHENNAI:

Since Wednesday, Perungudi MRTS station has been without a parking contractor. Photo: M. Srinath

Since Wednesday, Perungudi MRTS station has been without a parking contractor. Photo: M. Srinath

Southern Railway is yet to introduce a procedure to replace or renew parking contracts at stations on the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) line between Velachery and Chennai Beach.

A new parking contractor was posted at Taramani railway station only recently, after nearly a year’s vacancy. There is no parking contractor at Thiruvanmiyur railway station either.

Now, the parking contractor at Perungudi station has quit, leaving commuters in a fix as they are forced to leave their vehicles unguarded in the parking lot.

Raja Ganapathy, who takes the MRTS to Broadway from Perungudi, says the parking contractor left on Wednesday and since then, commuters have been anxious about parking there. The haphazard parking of vehicles is also causing hardship to commuters, he says.

Except for at a few stations, including Velachery, on the MRTS line, the Southern Railway has not been able to put a mechanism in place for the smooth transition of parking contractors. A parking contractor alleges the tender amount is quite high when compared to that at other suburban stations.

A senior official of Southern Railway says the Chennai division has more than 160 railway stations, making the management of parking contracts difficult.

The parking contractor is selected through a tender process, and as a result, at times, there is difficulty in finding the right people. The official cites the case of Thiruvanmiyur railway station where, despite floating two tenders, the authorities have not been successful in finding a contractor willing to take up the job.

Thiruvanmiyur station will get a parking contractor by June, he says. It will, however, be a while before a contractor is appointed at Perungudi station, as the tender process is yet to begin.

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