KOCHI: The pay-and-park facility mooted at the Eastern entry of the Ernakulam Junction Railway Station may not become a reality with the Railways refusing to provide land for the same. The project was mooted by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) as a solution to the parking woes along the Gandhi Nagar-Kathrikadavu-Kadavanthara stretch. This would have also provided an additional source of revenue to the GCDA.
The parking would have also come as a relief for train passengers who are currently finding it difficult to park their vehicles inside the station premises.
According to the GCDA officials, though the Railways had initially agreed to provide a few cents of land near the Eastern entry for the purpose, they later backtracked. “Since the Railway authorities responded positively, we went ahead with filling the land for the pay-and-park facility.
However, mid-way they stopped cooperating with us when we asked them to remove slabs and the culvert. We are yet to receive word from the Railways in this regard,” said GCDA chairman N Venugopal.
Speaking on this, Railway officials said it was not possible to lease out the Railway land to any agency unless the Railways receive an equal portion of land in return. “When we reviewed the Railways land rule, we were notified about this rule. As per our agreement, the GCDA had promised to give us a portion of their land to extend the sixth platform so that we could accommodate the new escalator facility. In return, we promised to give our land for their pay-and-park scheme. However, the portion of land required by the GCDA is very large compared to the much smaller portion required by us. If we provide them with this piece of land, we would be violating the Railways land rules,” said Ernakulam Railways area manager P L Ashok Kumar.
Currently, the pay-and-park facility provided at the entrance of the Ernakulam Junction station is inadequate and there are demands to extend the facilities at the station.