Chakradharpur railway division is hunting for an agency to manage the daily affairs of the parking zone outside Tatanagar station.
The move came more than a week after employees of the commercial department of the railway division refused to man the parking space to protest against alleged harassment by rogue auto-rickshaw drivers. The railway authorities later made parking free in the designated zone.
Passengers and their relatives visiting the station ever since have been forced to park their vehicles at their own risk, without any assurances of protection.
Senior divisional commercial manager of Chakradharpur railway division R.N. Biswas told The Telegraph that they issued a notice on Saturday inviting quotations from private parties interested in running the parking space.
“We hope to zero down on a suitable agency by the next week. The selected party would be appointed for three months on a quotation basis. During this period we will finalise tender details for a regular private contractor,” Biswas said.
Railway sources revealed that ever since their commercial department employees had withdrawn their services there had been a rise in the cases of vehicle theft.
“A bike was stolen from the parking lot last week. As the railway authorities had put up signboards declaring that owners should park their vehicles at their own risk, the victim then neither approached the railway authorities or the police,” the source said.
Officials at Tatanagar, however, expressed confidence that once a private agency had been put in place the cases of thefts would drop. However, the catch would be that the agency would have the right to charge parking fee from various categories of vehicles.
At present the parking area can accommodate over 200 cars and autos and about 500 two-wheelers.
Parking was made free from August 30, after the commercial department officials refused to work. Railway authorities revealed that this has led to a revenue loss of about Rs 5 lakh.
The last regular agency’s term of contract had expired in October last year. After that the railways had appointed a private agency for three months.
But, since February this year, the daily affairs of the parking was looked after by the Chakradharpur railway division.