CHENNAI: After running into controversies regarding its official opening, the multi-level car parking (MLCP) facility at the Chennai Airport finally opened for the public on Saturday midnight.
Owing to the new facility, the old car parking area was closed to the public and the new facility virtually pushed the passengers to unforeseen woes on the very first day.
The 2.5 lakh sq.ft six-storey facility built for Rs 250 crore can accommodate 2,150 cars and 400 two-wheelers. But the operation on day one failed to impress the public.
On Sunday, passengers were directed to park their vehicles in the new parking lot and walk to the terminals through the newly constructed bridge. The bridge has been set up to connect the international and domestic terminals.
However, passengers said the roads leading to MLCP are poorly laid, resulting in traffic congestion and longer duration to park vehicles. Also, international passengers had to place their belongings in a trolley and drag it for more than half a kilometre to reach their vehicles, stationed at MLCP.
As the pickup points are on the first and second floors, passengers were forced to take lifts from the ground floor to board the vehicles.
But, with only two lifts on the premises, the process seemed cumbersome. Moreover, with heavy luggage, passengers alleged great hurdles in reaching the vehicles. Furthermore, due to a lack of direction at the new facilities, passengers were seen stuck and visibly perplexed. And, with speed breakers not painted yet, a female passenger suffered injuries after falling.
In the case of the bridge, it seemed more convenient for boarding passengers rather than for those leaving the airport. The passengers also will get drenched on the bridge during rains.
As per the plan, the facility has been divided into two parts, east and west. Vehicles coming to the domestic terminal of the airport will halt on the eastern side and the vehicles arriving at the international terminal on the western side.
Passengers with vehicles entering both the domestic and international terminals will be given the same tokens. They will be subsequently directed to eastern and western sides of the facility.
The public has been urged to keep the tokens safe as missing them will attract a fine of Rs 150 for two-wheelers and Rs 500 for four-wheelers.
Though vehicles belonging to the employees of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and airline employees, were parked free of charge, currently, at MLCP, only 100 cars and two-wheelers each will be allowed free parking.