Opinion » Open Page

Updated: November 24, 2013 00:17 IST

Some are more equal than others?

Lakshmi Bhavani
Comment (8)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Encroachment of our valuable public space is unjustified at any cost. Often, most of us view encroachers with scorn and contempt. Vendors, pedlars, hawkers who bother us on the sidewalks selling their wares: be it necessities, or eatables, make the already narrow sidewalks narrower. We desire that the public spaces, be it the roadways, the sidewalks, the bus shelters, or spaces underneath the flyovers be free of encroachers.

Our Constitution grants equality. But are certain sections of people more ‘equal’? We talk about encroachments by the homeless, the unlicensed vendors, but what about the encroachment by the middle class, upper middle class and the upper class who park their first, second, third, fourth cars on the roadways, streets, and the bylanes. Some of them even feel it is their privilege to park on the road in front of their houses. They even put up notices that parking is reserved. Sometimes the burly watchman warns you that tyres would be deflated lest someone else other than the house owner park their vehicle on their roads!

But whose space is that? Claiming the sidewalks as their own, which is obviously government property? Who has given them the right to display notices that claim “reserved parking” on the gates? For instance, a notice which says that parking is reserved for B1 resident only. Is there any special tax to obtain such privilege or does the corporation lend the sidewalks? Is it not reasonable to think before one buys their nth vehicle? If one does not have space to park vehicles within the enclosure of their house or complex, one should forego buying them.

It has become increasingly difficult to drive through the narrow roads sandwiched by cars parked on the supposedly posh streets to the bylanes dotted with the so-called common man vehicles. Today’s ‘norm’ is to buy cars for every individual of the family, for the office going husband and wife, stay-at-home mom and for the college going children. It does not matter whether the vehicles are used everyday or not, buying is the mantra! If one has to step out, one has to flaunt it in style to show that one has finally arrived! It is sheer absurdity to watch so many cars lined up on both sides of narrow roads, some of them coated with dust and in an unused state thereby making the transit unpleasant. Sometimes, manoeuvring to drive uneventfully is a momentous task. It is similar to entering a maze; one can almost empathise with the warrior Abhimanyu of the Mahabharata!

The only way to make people pay heed is to impose taxes, high penalties on vehicles parked on roads. At least, that is one way of getting some revenue.

(The writer’s email:

More In: Open Page | Opinion

The last two lines will be a good solution.
I agree.

from:  Dinesh Raj C
Posted on: Nov 25, 2013 at 17:42 IST

Shouldn't we rather asking why there is not a parking complex?

from:  kunal
Posted on: Nov 25, 2013 at 14:07 IST

Hope this article catches the attention of civic authorities. In my
opinion, the house plan should be approved only when the provision for
the parking is shown in the layout of the house. If the government does
not pay heed to this, I wish somebody should move the supreme court for
incorporating this type of system in the law.

from:  Rao
Posted on: Nov 24, 2013 at 21:01 IST

I am a frequent reader of the open page of The Hindu and quite honestly
it id the first page that I read on a Sunday.Having said that,I found
the article extremely apt and to the point.You look around you and when
you see these no parking signs in the streets,we just blindly accept it
that we are not supposed to park somewhere.The article makes you to stop
and think about those actions.It subtly deals with the equality issue in
a completely truthful and interesting perspective.With different
perspectives being said all day,this one was refreshing

from:  Deuthi D
Posted on: Nov 24, 2013 at 18:15 IST

Finally a reasonable piece... Cars should be taken off Indian roads - these are not simply made for cars..
Here are some suggestions.
1. Bar everybody under the age of 25 from using motorbikes or mopeds and have them use the humble bicycle. This will reduce the pollution, improve fitness and moreover prevent accidents due to reckless driving.
2. Allow ownership of cars, only if the owner is able to provide for its parking.
3. Cars with only 1 passenger (Driver) should be taken off the key roads / junctions to encourage car-pooling.
4. Improve public transport.

from:  Milind
Posted on: Nov 24, 2013 at 11:06 IST

I agree with the author as I had a similar personal experience when I visited my friend who
lives in Teachers' colony, Royapettah (there is a temple at the end of the road and it is a
dead end). My experience was exactly the same and a couple of residents ganged up
against me objecting to my parking at a free place. How are we going to distingish parking
by residents and visitors? It is the Government which has failed to create parking spaces by
having wide roads and even new suburbs are having similar 30 feet roads. When are we
going to learn?

from:  Ram
Posted on: Nov 24, 2013 at 10:47 IST

Bangalore is Free for all!
“The only way to make people pay heed is to impose taxes, high penalties on vehicles parked on roads”.
Good. But who will do it? Politicians will lose their votes, if the try it. Perhaps we can follow the Singapore example..HI Tech. Parking charges. But we cannot do it here.!
But in Bangalore, it will the traffic Police more corrupt than ever
“It is sheer absurdity to watch so many cars lined up on both sides of narrow roads, some of them coated with dust and in an unused state thereby making the transit unpleasant”. Yes, for you and me. But what is it for the car owners?

from:  Adv. Blr
Posted on: Nov 24, 2013 at 09:24 IST

Correct; apart from the private car owners, the bosses of call taxi
services also park their vehicles on the suburban roads and threaten
those living in the peaceful areas.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Nov 24, 2013 at 07:57 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note: Submissions on the Open Page are the extended comments of readers and in no way do they reflect the views of The Hindu.... »



Recent Article in Open Page

Let not asthma deter you ever

History has seen a number of great men and women suffering from asthma but they went on undeterred, working towards their achievements. »