The parking lot outside Tatanagar station on Friday.
Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Tatanagar can hope to bury unpleasant incidents such as Friday morning’s five-hour auto strike over parking for good.
From April 1, commuters can look forward to hassle-free parking outside the station.
For, instead of contractors on a piecemeal basis, Chakradharpur railway division on Friday hired a new agency to monitor the station’s parking area for a solid three years.
Deep Enterprises, which bagged the contract, was hired by a tender process. According to the terms and conditions of the agreement, the private firm will pay Rs 3.97 crore annually to the railways from the parking fees collected.
At present, no one will collect parking fees. Moreover, people will have to park vehicles at their own risk as railway authorities have already made it clear that they will not be held responsible for any theft till the new agency starts functioning from April 1.
“For the past two years, in the absence of a long-term firm, the parking area was under control of individual contractors,” Tatanagar station manager Awtar Singh said.
In the absence of a permanent firm, people had to face difficulties in parking their vehicles. Bike-lifters almost had a free run at the station. Many vehicle thefts were reported from the parking lot in 2013 when the railways looked after the facility for a brief period.
The five-hour auto strike was also a fallout of having short-term contractor.
When Chakradharpur division ended its agreement with the private contractor after three months, auto drivers refused to pay parking fees on Friday morning.