Residents of C.P. Ramaswamy Road have it all: departmental stores, jewellery shops, cloth brands and a host of civic problems as well. K. Sarumathi reports
The city may be the most unequal space, but one factor binds it together: every neighbourhood, upscale or otherwise, has their share of civic issues to deal with. You may ask what people living in C.P. Ramaswamy Road can possibly complain about. It is a posh area, most residents are well off and everything from jewellery shops, departmental stores, cloth brands, fruit and vegetable outlets is available on this one stretch. But, development has brought with it problems that residents say outdo all positives.
Varadarajan, a resident of C.P. Ramaswamy Road for 30 years, has seen the place undergo a transformation.
“From a calm and quite residential neighbourhood, it has turned into a busy stretch with many commercial establishments coming up here. Avenue trees provided a green canopy which has now been replaced by concrete structures. Earlier, we would not venture out after dusk, but now the place is lively even at night,” he says.
Traffic is a major concern for residents here. “With many banks, jewellery shops in the area, traffic flow is continuous on this stretch. Residents, especially senior citizens like me, find it hard to cross the road. Though an automatic signal is there, the street has no zebra crossing,” Varadarajan adds. Traffic police personnel are not around to regulate traffic flow even during peak hours.
The footpaths have also been usurped by vendors. A resident of Siddartha Apartments says, “Walking on the stretch has become difficult as footpaths are not available to the public. Hawkers have set up shops on it forcing pedestrians to walk on the busy road, while putting their lives in danger.”
Vardarajan tell us that a complex was planned on the street for road-side vendors, but a Dental Clinic run by the corporation has come up instead. The reason for the change is not known.
Haphazard parking of vehicles visiting various commercial establishments have added to the traffic woes. “Some people leave their cars in front of our gates making it impossible to take our vehicle out or park it. We have repeatedly complained to police and other officials but nothing has been done” he adds.