Finding two-wheeler parking space in busy bazaar areas of the city is an uphill task. What adds to the problem is that shopkeepers keep metal grates in front of their shops thus blocking space that can be used for parking two two-wheelers. The shopkeepers keep these metal grates and in some cases even construct a small concrete platform to facilitate easy access to their shops. Such a practice is common in the narrow bylanes of the old pete areas of the city, Gandhi Bazaar, Ibrahim Sahib Street, S.P. Road and other busy commercial hubs.
The practice goes unchecked in the city though it is illegal. M.N. Babu Rajendra Prasad, DCP (Traffic-East), under whose jurisdiction most of the busy commercial hubs of the city lie, acknowledged that the practice was illegal, but was quick to add that, it was a bad practice that had gained ground and often went unquestioned. He said the citizens also had not protested against such a practice. If a complaint is booked, action will be taken against persons concerned, he added.
On being questioned on the issue, some two-wheeler users alleged that the shopkeepers were encroaching upon the parking space in connivance with local traffic cops, who were turning a blind eye to the illegal practice. A. Panduranga, an electrician who visits S.P. Road quite often, said that he had quarrelled with shopkeepers on several occasions over the issue and sought help from the traffic police as well, but to no avail.
Shopkeepers complain that streets do not have a wide pedestrian pathway and parking of two-wheelers blocks the entry to their shops. And that is why they have to place the metal grates in front of their shops. Imtiaz, who runs an electrical appliances shop on Dispensary Road, said motorcycles are parked so close to the entrance of their establishment that it is impossible for customers to enter his shop if the metal grates are not placed. “If we do not keep the metal grates in front of our shop, our business will get affected because entry to the shop is not easy for customers.
However, shopkeepers also do not want bazaar streets to become no-parking zone as they maintain that not providing two-wheeler parking will once again hamper their business as many people may avoid using the ‘no-parking’ streets.