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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Park & ride sans worries

- New Tatanagar contractor

The next time you station your two-wheeler at Tatanagar, you can put theft apprehensions to rest.

A new private contractor has taken charge of the parking square right outside the A-category station and, for starters, has enforced entry and waiting fees for every category of vehicle.

Railway sources said a three-month contract had been granted to one Anil Kumar Singh of Baridih, who took charge from Friday. He has already deputed 10 members of his staff to issue entry tickets. The parking fee for bikes and scooters has been fixed at Rs 5 for 12 hours, while cars have to pay Rs 15 for the same time period. On the other hand, auto-rickshaws are required to fork out Rs 6 every time they enter the station premises to pick or drop passengers.

Incidentally, parking at Tatanagar had been made free in August this year after employees of the Chakradharpur railway division’s commercial department refused to man vehicles, citing harassment by vandals and rogue auto-rickshaw drivers. Left without an option, the authorities had stopped charging a free, but also planted a signboard reading “park at your own risk”.

Officiating station manager of Tatangar Rajendra Prasad confirmed the fresh contract, which is worth Rs 8.66 lakh and pledges safety of parked vehicles. “The new private contractor has been appointed on quotation basis for three months,” he said.

The senior railway official also revealed that the Chakradharpur railway division had, simultaneously, started the process of appointing a full-fledged agency, which will supervise parking after the three months are over. “Tender forms, each worth Rs 5,000, are being sold from today (Friday). Interested parties can procure them at Tatanagar,” he added.

Currently, the parking area at the station accommodates 250 cars and autos and about 500 two-wheelers. At any given time of the day, it remains chock-a-block with unguarded vehicles, giving criminals — mostly bike lifters — a field day. At least half a dozen vehicle thefts have been reported on the premises in the past two months.