Vehicles parked outside Tatanagar railway station on Tuesday. (Animesh Sengupta)
The park-at-your-risk days are back at Tatanagar station with the contractor, which had been running the show on a piecemeal basis, expressing wish to pull out on Tuesday.
The blow couldn’t have come at a worse time as senior divisional commercial manager (SDCM), Chakradharpur railway division, under which Tatanagar falls, on Monday cancelled the contract granted to another agency that would have been in charge of the parking lot for three years over a financial dispute.
M/s Ganpati Enterprises had been managing the Tatanagar parking lot for the past six months on the basis of a “quotation” tender (a stopgap arrangement under which the tender is valid for three months). It had paid a “quotation” fee of Rs 36 lakh to bag the last tender in April.
The current agreement came to an end on June 29 with the railway urging the company to run the parking lot for four-five days more till a permanent agency was finalised or a fresh quotation tender allotted to it for three more months. But Ganpati Enterprises wants out immediately, citing losses.
“We submitted the papers today (Tuesday), saying that we will not be able to carry on any further as very few vehicles are coming to park on the station premises because of waterlogging. We are not being able to make any profit,” said Vinay Singh, proprietor of Ganpati Enterprises.
He added that he would reconsider the railways’ request to run the station only if the tender sum was reduced from Rs 36 lakh to Rs 32 lakh.
As for termination of the three-year contract of the other company, Deep Enterprises, which was formalised after a normal tender process, officials said the firm had failed to honour a financial clause mentioned in the agreement.
Deep Enterprises had submitted a bid of Rs 10.5 crore when the railways floated the tender two months ago.
After being selected, it was supposed to submit a year’s tender money of Rs 3.5 crore and provide a bank guarantee against the payment of the remaining Rs 7 crore.
“Though the company could submit the initial Rs 3.5 crore, it but could not provide the bank guarantee. We had no other option but to cancel its contract,” said Prashant Singhania, assistant commercial manager, Chakradharpur.
An official of Deep Enterprises said the clauses of the three-year contract were too stringent. “The railways should reduce the initial deposit and the bank guarantee or else they will get no taker for the parking lot,” he added.
The authorities are now weighing their options and if they fail to find any suitable agency to manage the parking lot, Government Railway Police (GRP) will come into the picture.
So though you will be able to park your vehicle, don’t expect the GRP men to provide any security as they will just manage the space but will not collect parking fee or be responsible for any theft.
Around 4,000 two-wheelers and 1,000 cars park in the space outside Tatanagar every day.