Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 4:
Authorities at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, the sole airport in Odisha, have decided to check the parking tickets 50 meters before the exit gate and waive the parking fee if the vehicle returns within five minutes of entering the airport in view of the frequent disputes over parking fees.
While the authorities are tight-lipped about the recommendations of the joint committee of Commissionerate Police and airport authorities which discussed the issue recently, it is understood to have expressed its dissatisfaction over the parking mismanagement at the airport.
As per existing provision, four-wheelers are charged a parking fee of Rs 40 and two-wheelers Rs 20 if they spend more than five minutes after getting into the airport.
Passengers, howeve, complain that the five-minute time limit is too little even if the vehicle just gets in and gets out without offloading the passenger. The congestion at the exit gate makes matters worse.
There have been a series of incidents of scuffle and arguments between vehicle owners, who come to drop or pick up someone from the airport and parking staff over the fees with several reports filed at the Airfiled Police Station.
“We are trying to ensure that the passengers are treated well at the airport. We have, however, taken no decision on increasing the free parking duration. Instead, we would soon implement a special sign before 50 meters of the exit gate. If the vehicles returns within five minutes and out of the 50 meter mark, we won’t charge him the parking fee,” said Sharad Kumar, Director of the airport.
“We are also going to train the parking attendant to behave well with the passengers and employ more people to ensure lesser congestion around the exit gate,” he added.