A top Metro official told TNIE that Paid Parking will make its debut at Silk Institute, Doddakallasandra and Konanakunte Metro stations, which all figure on the first stretch of Phase-II launched in January 2021. The other stations have been given fresh contracts following the expiry of the existing one or the contractor breaching the conditions midway on account of low footfall at Metro stations caused by the pandemic.
Nagasandra, Deepanjali Nagar, Vijayanagar, Halasuru, Baiyappanahalli (NGEF side), Sandal Soap Factory and KSR railway station are all set to have a new contractor, the official said.
Visits to a couple of Metro stations reveal commuters were struggling due to lack of parking.
The 'Paid Parking' system at Vijayanagar Metro station ended in July this year. `Parking at owners risk’ says notices displayed at the empty parking lots on either side of the station. Half the space outside the station earmarked for staff was taken over by the public.
Among those affected are L Prasad, who takes the Metro from Vijayanagar to his workplace at Cubbon Park. “It is quite a struggle to find parking space just outside the Vijayanagar station where there is a service lane and we need to search for some space available in the nearby lanes. You end up leaving your vehicle the whole day somewhere and this causes unwarranted stress at the back of your mind about the safety of the vehicle.” Another commuter at Vijayanagar, Rajashekhar K, said he was relieved that he did not have to pay the parking charge of Rs 30 a day and was happy to do it freely.
At Sandal Soap Factory, a Metro staffer said that due to the absence of parking, commuters park their vehicles all over and it gets towed away by the traffic police. “They come and complain to us but we are helpless,” he said. “Paying Rs 30 is not a big sum for an entire day. I will be really happy if they start it soon,” said M Ankitha, an interior designer.