Afraid of crossing 7-min free stay, drivers park on new Airport Road, causing daily bottlenecks for locals; traffic police suggest reducing parking charges
Traffic snarls have choked commute for Viman Nagar residents, thanks to vehicles parked haphazardly on the new Airport Road –which connects the airport with Nagar Road -mostly by cab drivers who cannot afford to pay the steep fee for overstaying the Pune Airport’s slim time-limit of welcome.Looking for a solution, the traffic police have suggested that the airport authorities reduce the parking charges by cutting down on the 2-hour-long parking slots. “Instead of a minimum slot of two hours, the authorities should provide half-hour slots and charge accordingly. If the charges are reduced for the half-hour slots, the drivers will also be encouraged to use the parking area,“ inspector B Mole, incharge of Yerwada traffic division, told Pune Mirror.

The current airport parking rules entail that if a vehicle enters the Pune Airport premises, it has to drop or pick up passengers within seven minutes and leave. Only then will it be considered as a free entry and exit for that vehicle. If it takes more than seven minutes, the driver has to cough up Rs 85 as parking charges. There are also designated parking spaces provided outside the airport premises, where parking is available for a minimum of two hours at a fee of Rs 90.

“Most of the vehicles parked here are cabs meant for airport duty; their drivers do not want to pay the heavy parking charges. So, they prefer to park their vehicles on the roadside, where there are no such charges. When their passengers arrive at the airport, they call up the drivers.Only then do they enter the airport premises,“ rued Arun Malhotra, a Viman Nagar resident. Dinesh Kumar, another local, added, “It is a wide road and in good condition.There is absolutely no reason for bottlenecks. However, we have been facing traffic snarls daily, especially during the evenings, as these vehicles are parked in the area.“

Fed up with the daily commuting trouble, the residents had complained to the traffic police, after which they came up with a few suggestions for the airport authorities.Even Mole admitted that the problem get more severe during the evenings, with an increase in the number of operating flights. “Accordingly, more cabs are required to pick up more passengers. When we questioned these drivers, they told us that they do not need to wait at the airport for more than half an hour, but have to pay the parking charges for two hours. Therefore, to avoid paying that amount, they choose to park their cars outside,“ he said.

When Pune Mirror contacted Ajay Kumar, the director of Pune Airport, he assured, “We welcome all suggestions that are for the greater public good. We will definitely take those given by the traffic police on a positive not and the best possible steps will be taken for a remedy.“

Source : Mirror