CHENNAI: A delay in the renewal of tender for the largest two-wheeler parking space on the Western side of the Tambaram Railway Station resulted in theft of bikes, their parts, and petrol.The Tambaram railway terminal falls under the South Line of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network, and is used by over 1.5 lakh commuters every day, according to Railway officials.It comes with two entry points - on the East and West sides.
While the Eastern entry point has one large parking space with a capacity of 5,000 vehicles, the Western entry point has three. The largest parking space, with a capacity of 2,000, on the Western side witnessed at least 40 cases of bike theft after the last tender’s expiration three months back left the area unsupervised.
A contract for a tender includes installation of a token booth in such spaces, which also ensures supervision of the parked two-wheelers. The absence of an authority owing to the said delay has left the commuters to fend for themselves.While the police said that they put up a sign asking people to refrain from parking in the space in question, commuters have continued in the lack of an alternative.
“Though it is not safe to park here, there is no other place near the station to keep the vehicle. So, I have to continue to use this parking (lot),” S Rajesh, a regular commuter on the route, told TNIE.Although two other parking spaces, with a capacity of 500 vehicles each, are available, priority is given to those who hold monthly passes. Moreover, owing to their smaller sizes, the two spaces are rendered unavailable by 8:30 a.m, as noted by another commuter Mohammad Asarudin.
Asarudin further told TNIE, “The authorities should improve the safety and infrastructure of the parking (space) with lights and surveillance cameras as (it) is used by miscreants for drinking, making it unsafe for women at night.”
“Railway officials should immediately take steps to finalise the tender to ensure there is supervision of the parking space. They have delayed the tender process which has created concerns regarding passenger safety,” Naina Masailamani, a member of Chennai’s Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) told TNIE.
A respite has come in the form of the Southern Railway’s confirmation that the tender has been awarded and a reinstated supervision is expected by the end of next month.