Buses of software and telecom companies parked in Dooming Kuppam every day

The rising incidence of commercial vehicles, including call taxis, travel cabs, software company buses and omnibuses, being parked in the midst of residential areas not only poses problems for residents, but raises questions about the need for stringent parking laws and their enforcement.

A case in point is the sight of nearly 15 buses of software and telecom companies parked in Dooming Kuppam on the sands of the Marina at Foreshore Estate daily after 7 p.m. “Initially, they used to be lined up on an elevated sand platform. Now, some are parked on an open space behind the hamlet, and others, along the streets. Once, two buses were parked in front of the public toilet we use and we faced problems,” says Janaki, a fisherwoman.

Police officials at the Marina D5 police station say action is being taken against illegal parking. “But somebody has to complain first,” says an official.

The stretch of Jawaharlal Nehru Salai between Kathipara junction and Jaffarkhanpet is also being used as parking space by software companies' buses. K. A. Rukmangathan, a resident of Ambal Nagar, says the road has already been made narrow for the Metro Rail project. “Pedestrians have to brave speeding vehicles as they walk or cross the stretch as the buses occupy most space. As the area lacks proper illumination, there is always a risk of accident,” he adds.

Private omni-buses parked on the busy Kaliamman Koil Street in Koyambedu add to the traffic woes of the residents. S. Selvam, a resident of Brindavan Nagar, says traffic piles up particularly during evening hours as the buses wait on the road to pick up passengers. “It takes several minutes for us to cross a few metres," he adds.

“It is about using parking space that is allotted to you, or paying for the space that you are using,” says N. Mahadevan, a resident of Valmiki Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur. The area, he says, witnessed parking of software company buses almost daily on the Seaward Road till a month ago. After complaints, the buses now use the parking space available in the colonies on the other side of the depot. For morning walkers in Thiruvanmiyur and Adyar, serpentine rows of call-taxis parked along the Kalakshetra road are a familiar sight.

Same problems are being faced by residents of many areas across the city. “Many areas in T. Nagar are lined up with luxurious cars transporting people to posh hotels located close by, or call taxis waiting for people in the markets. The most difficult time is during the afternoons when children return from school,” says Susheela Abraham, a resident of Raman Street. The plight of residents of Dandapani street is similar, with travel cabs parked on one side of the road and the ongoing storm water drain construction the other.

S. Rukmani, a resident of Thirumurthy Nagar in Nungambakkam points to the rise in the number of hospitals in residential areas most of which have cabs for patients' use. “They are parked throughout the day,” she says.

Mayor M.Subramanian said Chennai Corporation would coordinate with the traffic police to regulate such parking. Besides installing parking meters in areas such as T.Nagar and Anna Nagar, measures, including allotting parking space on wide roads and prevention of illegal parking on narrow roads, would be discussed.


Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

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