6-min Window: Dedicated lanes fail to put brakes on chaos at Chandigarh Railway Station


Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, December 27

The recent review of the pick-up and drop-off system at the Chandigarh Railway Station seems to have failed to make much difference as visitors continue to shell out a hefty fee of up to Rs 200 for breaching the free six-minute window.

More changes on way

Things have improved and gradually more changes will be visible in coming days. There should be no confusion about lanes as we have properly displayed everything. — Mandeep Singh Bhatia, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala

Two days after minor modifications were made to the prevailing system, a visit to the railway station at 8.30 pm yesterday, when the New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi arrives, revealed not much had changed on ground.

While the railway authorities had claimed to have introduced three dedicated lanes — one each for government/private, commercial and parking vehicles — four lanes were found at the exit point.

Officials, however, said the lane for government/private vehicles had been bifurcated towards the exit side for smooth flow of traffic. However, owing to confusion among motorists, one of the lanes remained vacant, while a long queue was witnessed in the second.

As always, there was a jam at the exit fee counters. Amid blaring horns, people were seen arguing with parking attendants for being charged the fee despite the jam.

“I reached the entrance within the stipulated free six-minute period. But the attendant took time in issuing the receipt. What kind of charges are these?” said Gaganpreet Singh, who had come to pick up his family at the station. He had to pay Rs 50 after an argument with a parking attendant.

Akshit, a car driver, said: “I picked up my friend within two minutes, but have been stuck in this queue at the exit point. This seems like a deliberate attempt to fleece commuters. They should either throw open all lanes or make some other arrangements. How can so many cars leave within six minutes amid jams and argument at exit counters?”

The new system of three fully fenced lanes for vehicles between the entry and exit points began at the railway station on a trial basis two days ago. The lanes, which were separated with ropes, were dedicated for government/private, commercial and parking vehicles.

Big display boards carrying information about the three lanes and a list of vehicles allowed free entry have been displayed. But this has made little difference during the rush hour.

Meanwhile, Mandeep Singh Bhatia, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ambala, said: “After the new system, things have improved and gradually more changes will be visible in the coming days. There should be no confusion about lanes as we have properly displayed everything.”

Chandigarh Tribune has been highlighting vehicles coming in to pick up or drop off passengers are being fleeced owing to the faulty system. After the six-minute free window, passengers are charged Rs 50 for up to 15 minutes and Rs 200 thereafter. Passengers have been asking the authorities to extend the free window or bring in some changes in the system.

Confusion over bifurcation of lane towards exit point

There is confusion among motorists over bifurcation of lane for govt/private vehicles towards the exitWhile one of these lanes remains empty, a long queue is witnessed in the second one, leading to jamsThree fully fenced lanes for govt/private, commercial and parking vehicles have been created for smooth flowBoards have been put up with info about lanes, list of vehicles allowed free entry; trial run began 2 days ago