SRINAGAR: Paid parking has been introduced at the Srinagar Airport because of inefficiency of traffic police and irresponsibility of the general public, Director of the airport, Akash Deep Mathur, told Kashmir Reader.
Mathur said that the aim of paid parking is to decongest the airport premises of vehicles, a task in which the traffic cops stationed at the airport did not prove to be helpful. He said the cops would whistle for hours together to get vehicles removed, but to no avail.
“So, we decided to introduce paid parking, which has begun to yield results. We have done what the cops could not,” Mathur said.
For parking, a vehicle has to now pay Rs 60 if it stays for more than 12 minutes at the airport. If the time exceeds by a minute, Rs 10 will be charged extra for each hour.
Mathur said that paid parking was introduced only after doing a study on the average time needed by a vehicle within the airport premises. “It takes about four minutes to cover the distance, some five minutes for picking up or dropping a passenger, and one to two minutes we have provided extra to spare,” he said.
The precise mathematics does not quite work in practice. On Thursday morning, Naveed, a resident of Srinagar, had to pick his brother from the airport at 7.30am, when the flight was supposed to arrive. He reached there at 7:28, but had to wait for his brother till 7:45 because the flight could not land on time. He was out by 8 but before that had to pay Rs 60.
When asked if 12 minutes was too small a window to allow vehicles to get out when more than 50 vehicles are usually waiting for their passenger at every flight, Mathur said that Rs 60 was not too large an amount to pinch the pocket.
Does the airport get any share of the money collected from parking charges? Mathur said no; it goes to the company that manages the parking, he said.