With Deepavali just a fortnight away, poor parking facilities for shoppers in T. Nagar are taking their toll on residents.

While there is restriction on car parking in some of the streets off South Usman Road, especially close to Ranganathan Street, shoppers leave their cars on lanes such as Pinchala Subramanian Street, Mangesh Street and Lakshmi Narasimhan Street (off Doraisamy Road), to name a few.

All this is because most commercial establishments along Usman Road do not provide adequate parking space for customers. Hundreds of their own employees park either in their respective basements, or at other plots owned by their employers.

Polite requests from residents elicit rude response from the drivers.

In contrast, commercial establishments and auto rickshaw drivers who muscled their way into once-quiet residential areas such as Motilal Street, Venkatesan Street and Sarojini Street have ensured that parking is not allowed in certain areas.

A similar situation is emerging along residential lanes off Doraisamy Road. M. Malini, a resident of Lakshmi Narasimhan Street, said that a fortnight ago, an elderly couple had to go to the hospital after 11 p.m. for an emergency. As workers were unloading material intended for a nearby shopping complex, the elderly gentleman had difficulty in manoeuvring his car.

During day, two-wheelers parked in the complex’s lot spill over onto the street, his spouse said.

Until recently, unauthorised parking was restricted to Panagal Park and the nearby areas but now even the lanes off Pondy Bazaar are not spared.

A portion of Thyagaraya Road has been allotted for parking but here too often drivers opt to double-park. Since the driver remains in the car, the vehicle cannot be towed away. Such parking hampers the movement of other vehicles.

Survey of parking needs

The Corporation of Chennai has proposed to build a three-tier underground parking lot at the playground opposite Dr. Natesan Park on Venkatnarayana Road. The facility would include commercial ventures also as the revenue from the parking lot might not be enough to maintain it, said Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni.

“We are also studying the parking needs in T. Nagar. We have taken a radius of 5 km around Panagal Park and are doing a comprehensive traffic survey to find suitable places for parking lots and decongest traffic,” he said. Bids to conduct the survey would be called for next week, Mr. Lakhoni added.

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012