Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras City Van Owners Association has approached the High Court, seeking a directive to the authorities to permit its members to park their vehicles at Loane Square/Sriramulu Park at Broadway.

In its writ petition, the association submitted that its members were utilising the parking lot for several decades. The Chennai Corporation also collected parking and maintenance charges from the association. All these years, the members were enjoying the parking facilities without any hindrance. Suddenly, the Corporation, with the help of the police, had forcibly removed some vehicles parked in the lot. Despite objections, and even after they were told that the civic body’s act amounted to transgressing a court order, the authorities went ahead.

A September 2003 order declared the space “no-parking area” and notified the association members as encroachers upon the land. When a writ petition and contempt proceedings were initiated, the Corporation submitted that 2.93 acres at Manjambakkam in the Ambattur taluk had been notified as a parking place. Following this, the writ petition and contempt proceedings were treated as closed in November last year.

The petitioner submitted that the notified area was 30 km away from the city, and was not suited for trading operations. A Division Bench had already said an area in the city limit should be allocated for parking. As the area was of no use to the association members, a representation was made to the authorities in February this year. As per the court order, the authorities must provide an alternative site before evicting the members.