Pune: The contractor for the parking area at the Pune railway station continues to collect parking charges from four-wheelers that are entering the railway station premises only to drop or pick up passengers, thus, violating the order issued by Milind Deouskar, DRM, Pune, who had warned the contractor not to collect the charge.
This is happening between 11 pm and 6 am daily at the station, when there are no GRP/RPF personnel to monitor their activities.
Parking area attendants are recovering the parking charges from car owners, including app-based cab services. Many people have been facing this situation when they arrive at the Pune station to drop or pick up their family members or friends. The contractor forces them to pay parking charges if they go toward exit gate number three on the station premises.
Recently, Milind Deouskar had conducted a press meet, in which he had announced that the contractor cannot recover parking charges if a vehicle is not parked in the parking area. He had instructed his subordinates to look into the matter.
Ratnesh Kumar Sharma (38), who arrived at the railway station early morning on Monday with his family, including two children, faced a similar situation, when one of his friends arrived with a car. Ratnesh was waiting near the ATM centre, which is adjacent to the Government Railway Police (GRP) office. According to him, when they moved to exit gate number three, one of the staff of the contractor sought the parking fee.
“The parking contractor sought Rs 20 even for picking passengers. When we resisted, he started shouting and threatening, saying the vehicle would not be allowed to leave the premises. Finally, we paid him Rs 20. The contractor is charging illegally. There was no police in the vicinity,” Ratnesh told Sakal Times.
Another passenger, Prabhakar Budhi (45), who arrived by the Konark Express on Friday, also faced the same problem. He said, “I came to Pune to attend a conference on Friday. I booked a cab through an app. When I moved toward exit gate number three, a contractor came to us and sought the parking charge. The cab driver asked me to pay. I paid Rs 20. But, in our city, Bhubaneswar, there is no pick up and drop charges, the Pune station is an exception.”
Manoj Kumar Jhawar, Public Relation Officer (PRO), Pune Railway Division, said, “The contractor can recover the charge from those vehicles parked inside the parking area. There is no parking fee for pick-up or drop. We have already deputed staff, including Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, at the parking area.”
Harsha Shah, President, Railway Pravasi Group, alleged that there is a nexus between the parking contractor and the railway administration.