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Parked cars, traffic violations spark chaos in front of Kolkata airport

Most of the vehicles remain parked much beyond the stipulated pick up and drop time

Snehal Sengupta | Published 06.08.22, 05:58 AM
Vehicles parked on the road in front of the terminal building

Vehicles parked on the road in front of the terminal building

Pictures by Bishwarup Dutta

Chaos prevails in front of the arrival level of Kolkata airport’s terminal building.

Reasons: rampant traffic rule violations and rows of parallel parked cars, mostly for VIPs, eat into most of the road space in front of the airport.

The Telegraph visited the airport on Friday and saw cars, app cabs, bikes and even mini buses parked randomly in front of the terminal building at the arrival level.

Cars and bikes parked opposite the terminal building

Cars and bikes parked opposite the terminal building

Most of the vehicles remain parked much beyond the stipulated “pick up and drop time” in front of the terminal building both on the departure as well as the arrival levels. 

Many vehicles, especially those having beacon lights or boards and stickers pasted on their windshields announcing that they belong to some government agency or the other, don’t head to the designated parking area, though it has space to accommodate more than 3,000 cars.

Instead, they park right in front of the terminal building. The agency that runs the parking lot has revised its rates for app cabs only. There is no change in rates for other vehicles.

Now, the parking fee for app cabs has been hiked from ₹60 to ₹100. For private cars, drivers have to pay ₹40 for 30 minutes and ₹100 thereafter for two hours. For two-wheelers, it is ₹20 for 30 minutes. Riders are being charged ₹25 for staying at the airport for a duration of two hours. In the case of SUVs and tempos, the rate stands at ₹50 and ₹110 respectively.

The parking lot at the airport almost empty on Friday as most vehicles are parked in front of the terminal building

The parking lot at the airport almost empty on Friday as most vehicles are parked in front of the terminal building

A section of app cab drivers as well as those who regularly commute to the airport also park their vehicles in front of the terminal building.

As a result of these cars, parked on multiple lanes in front of the terminal building, passengers waiting to board their own cars or app cabs are inconvenienced. 

On Friday, this newspaper did not spot any parking marshals or cops enforcing the rules and streamlining traffic on the airport compound.

The situation is made worse by cars parked in as many as three rows parallel to the terminal building.

An official of M/S Rajendra Singh, the agency that runs the parking lot at the airport and collects fines from the drivers or owners of errant vehicles, said there were not enough personnel to deploy as marshals. 

He also said the agency’s staff did not dare approach beacon-fitted and other government vehicles. “We deploy almost all our personnel at the entry gate of the airport as well as the entry-exit gates of the basement parking lot. Moreover, we dare not ask beacon-fitted and other government cars to move away (even if they remain parked beyond the stipulated period),” said Subhash Sharma, an official of the parking agency.

Last updated on 06.08.22, 05:58 AM
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