Drop-off zone turns parking bay

Traffic congestion has become a regular affair at Biju Patnaik International Airport because of arbitrary parking of government and private vehicles that come on drop-off and pick-up duty.
The city airport has 200-metre-long pick-up and drop-off lanes at Terminal One where vehicles can enter, pick or drop off passengers and leave. They are supposed to complete all this within a timeframe of five minutes. But in reality, many vehicles are seen parked there for as long as an hour.
The case is the same with parking vehicles even though a big signage in the area clearly reads "No Parking Zone".
Irked at this arbitrary parking practice of drivers of government vehicles, airport director Suresh Chandra Hota has already written to the state government to take appropriate measures to stop the trend. But nothing has changed.
"In the last three months, we have noticed that most of the drivers of government vehicles are not cooperating with us in maintaining traffic order. They are also entering into arguments with security staff and even refusing to leave the lanes leading to the terminal. I request the government to issue circulars to all the government departments asking them to co-operate with our administration," the airport director wrote to the government.
This continues to happen even after the Bureau of Civil Aviation issued an order to maintain security at airports. The order states that parking vehicles within 100 metres of the terminal buildings is not allowed. In compliance with the order, the authorities have designated Lane 1 and Lane 2 at the domestic terminal as pick-up and drop-off lanes.
"There are seven points as per the order of the Bureau of Civil Aviation to be followed to maintain the security at any international airports in the country. One such point indicates about the parking norms. We are bound to comply with the order if we want to keep the airport safe," said Hota.
A general administration department official confirmed to The Telegraph that they received the letter from the airport director and had already intimated all government departments about it. "We have issued orders to departments to take precaution and use the lanes for pick-up and drop-off purposes only, while the designated parking place should be used to keep the vehicles for long hours," the official said.
This is not the first time that the airport is facing problems of illegal parking. Earlier, tussles between passengers and private parking operators used to be reported very frequently, which was resolved after concerted efforts by the government and the airport administration.
"We had asked the parking operators to maintain peace with passengers or face termination of contracts. Ever since, things have become smooth," said an airport official.

Nayapalli resident Alakananda Padhi said parking was a major problem. "I had frequent arguments with parking operators and had complained about it to officials. The parking of government vehicles in front of the terminal should be regulated. It gives an ugly look to the facility," said Padhi, a frequent flyer.

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