Sumathi finds it difficult to traverse the small lane she lives in, to take her three-year-old daughter to school. She is not alone. Many residents of this lane —VC Garden Street, II Lane, Mandaveli, — face a similar situation. They also find parking an ordeal here. This is because of the presence of Regional Transport Office (RTO) which provides little or no parking space in the area.
“The RTO has been relocated from Greenways Road to its present location a year ago. The building, which was lying vacant for nearly a decade, belongs to the Kapaleeswarar Temple. The HR & CE has let out the premises on a three-year lease to the RTO,” said Mr. Raghupathy, a resident.
The RTO is visited by many people who park their vehicles haphazardly. As the building is situated at the beginning of the street, even pedestrian movement is hindered.
Ponraj, a businessman who lives there, has changed two drivers so far. “This is because taking the vehicle out of my garage has become an arduous task as one has to clear the vehicles parked in front of my house initially before taking out my car,” says Mr. Ponraj.
K. Subramaniam, a long time resident says, “In case of an emergency an ambulance will find it difficult to enter the lane.”
“It was one of the calm streets in the locality. Today there is so much of honking and movements of vehicles that it has raised the noise level in the street. There is also a need to keep strict vigil because of the strangers who come there. In fact, there have been two or three cases of vehicle theft recently,”says D.S. Ramachandran, a senior citizen.
The residents have submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner of Police and the HR & CE officials of Kapaleeswarar Temple. The RTO authorities say that they are ready to move provided that they get some other place to set up their office.
Residents say that there should be a permanent solution to this problem and feel that the RTO should never be located in and around a residential colony.
Haphazard parking, noise pollution, vehicle theft are some of the problems faced by the residents.