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PASSENGERS FUME AS RAILWAYS SHUTS DOWN PARKING LOT

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TRICHY: Commuters who arrived at the the  notice parking lot of the Trichy railway junction on Tuesday were taken aback to see apasted there stating that “parking at the lot is at owner’s risk”. The reason given was that the contract agreement with the contractor had expired and not been renewed. Needless to say that the sudden closure of the parking lot has left commuters in the lurch as no alternative arrangements have been made to facilitate safe parking of vehicles.

Being a busy railway junction, thousands of commuters arrive here from various destinations while hundreds from Trichy and surrounding areas travel to neighbouring districts like Thanjavur, Ariyalur, Karur, Nagapattinam and Pudukkotttai for work. “ This is nothing but a shocker from the railway authorities for the commuters,” said Ramalingam of Kumaran Nagar, who came to the station on a two-wheeler to see off his relative.

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“We usually park our vehicles at the railway junction either at the two-storey parking lot or in the open space opposite to the building under the trees. Because of the railways’ decision, commuters are now forced to park their vehicles at the parking lot at the central bus stand, which is nearly a kilometre away from the railway junction. This will cause much inconvenience to us and even lead to people missing trains”, he said.

Railways should either close the parking lot or appoint an authority to look after it till a contractor is appointed, said the secretary of Consumer Protection Council of Tamil Nadu, S Pushpavanam. What was needed, according to him, was to urgently construct a spacious multi-storey parking lot to accommodate all vehicles under one roof. The railways could also earn more money through the venture, which has been a priority for the public transport behemoth these days, he said.

“Railways cannot leave the parking lot at the risk of the passengers. They should not have allowed the passengers to park rather than allow it at their own risk. Railways is responsible for anything which happens on its premises,” he added. On car parking, he alleged that the contractor collected Rs 20 for a car instead of the allowed fee of Rs 10. No officials from the Trichy railway division bothered about it despite repeated representations, he alleged. Repeated attempts to get the reaction of Trichy railway division officials did not yield results.

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