Despite traffic police’s arrangements to ease congestion, haphazard parking clogs locality

When Deepavali approaches, chaos define the city’s shopping hub – T. Nagar.

Expecting a heavy rush of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the locality over the next few weeks, the city’s traffic police made a set of parking arrangements that came into force from Saturday. But on Sunday, the arrangement received mixed responses from shoppers.

The festival of lights falls on November 13, and in the weeks leading up to it, T. Nagar is thronged by people from across the State who come to shop for clothes, jewellery and other products. In an effort to ease congestion, parking for motorcycles and cars has been arranged in places including Muthurangan Salai, G.N. Chetty Road and around Somasundaram playground.

Temporary parking for autorickshaws has been arranged, along with exclusive two-wheeler parking in several schools. Paid private parking has also been arranged. But many shoppers do not seem to be aware of these arrangements. S. Duraisamy, a resident of Ramanathan Street said that shoppers parked their motorcycles in front of his house and went shopping nearby. “The public are still not accustomed to the new arrangements. It will take some time,” he said.

Traffic police in Pondy Bazaar, in the heart of T. Nagar, tow away 20 vehicles and lock 15 others on a daily basis. “Every day, at least 30 cases of illegal parking are registered,” said Surendranath, assistant commissioner of police, (traffic enforcement), T. Nagar.

But even penalties do not seem to deter shoppers from parking right on the road. “I came to Usman Road to collect the trousers I had given for tailoring. I cannot search for a spot among the allotted parking slots and then walk to the shop to pick up my clothes. The time I spend looking for a spot at the parking lot will be far longer than the time I spend collecting my clothes,” said S. Giri, a resident of Mylapore.

A traffic police officer said the public’s mindset also needs to change.

“Some people who had come to a shopping centre on G.N. Chetty Road had parked their vehicle right in front of the store itself. We then had to make them park their vehicle on the opposite side, where parking is allowed,” said the officer.

He added that only from next week would the full-fledged shopping season begin. “Since it will be the beginning of a new month, salaries will be credited and people will come shopping. At present, many traffic police personnel are on bandobast duty. But by next week, we will be at full strength here,” said the officer.

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