Taxi drivers upset over rise in parking charges at Chennai airport

Hike implemented since the beginning of this month
Chennai: The recent hike in parking charges at Chennai international airport has not gone down well with many, especially taxi drivers. The hike which was implemented since the beginning of this month, now sees the rates set at Rs 150 for two hours for a single entry (Rs 20 extra per hour). Earlier, it stood at Rs 135 for 4 hours.
One of the officials of Garuda Aviation, who obtained the parking
contract in 2012, said, “When we bagged the contract, initially charges were Rs 120. Subsequently, it went up to
Rs 135, when service tax was added and now it has gone up to Rs 150 (inclusive of all taxes). But we are not the ones who decide on it. The rates are set by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). We are just implementing it”.
He also added that this rule acts as a security cover to avoid any illegal activity going on in the airport.
“No car can stand for a long time. They will come, finish their work and leave. So, I think its good,” added an official of Garuda Aviation .
However, Bhaskaran Babu (55), a taxi driver for the past 35 years said, “The previous duration of four hours was ideal and it should be continued. I do not know why they had to change it all of a sudden. This is forcing many
drivers to park their cars outside the airport near the highway or service road. This again results in fines. So, authorities need to understand that this measure is problematic especially when flights which are coming into Chennai get delayed. They keep on increasing the rates, but we bear the brunt.”
Another driver, Ramachandran (33), too echoed similar views and said
135 is a reasonable charge and the authorities should revert to the earlier charges as soon as possible. “It will be beneficial for us and for passengers as well”, he added.
Meanwhile, the airport director said, “This hike came after a normal periodic routine review. This is not only for Chennai airport but others as well (even in private ones) and the decision has been taken by the corporate headquarters of AAI in consultation with stakeholders.”
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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