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Paying rent for car parking realty check

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The parking lot at Sathyam Cinemas at Royapettah in Chennai. —
The parking lot at Sathyam Cinemas at Royapettah in Chennai. —

J.Malarvizhi

Residents pay from Rs. 900 to Rs. 6,000 a month

CHENNAI: Empty plots are turning profitable for the city’s landowners as the demand for vehicle parking space grows. While commercial establishments can rent or lease land, residents are turning to the practice of paying rent to park cars at such plots near their homes.

“There are many more people with cars and we are obligated to provide additional parking,” said Tan Ngaronga, Chief Operations Officer, Satyam Theatres. The theatre has started renting a nearby ground to accommodate some 75 cars. At its main parking facility on its premises, upwards of 300 cars can be accommodated. Movie-goers can travel the 500 metres from the annexe parking lot to the theatre on a free shuttle service.

“These open grounds do not come under the definition of development,” said a Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) official. They are, therefore, not required to seek several permissions that a building or even a shed could require.

Textile showrooms and several other retailers in the city have been using such land for several years now. Commercial establishments can afford to rent or lease land for the parking requirements of their employees or customers. This property is rarely prepared in any way for the parking of vehicles and even the ground is frequently not levelled.

Meanwhile, residents without parking facilities outside their houses or apartment blocks have now begun to rent space for parking — depending on the locality, residents are paying amounts that can start at Rs. 900 and can go up to Rs. 6,000 for an upmarket locality. A security guard is often the sole benefit that they are offered, besides space.

Young professional K. Janani took the option of renting a shed at Rs.2,000 per month besides paying an initial deposit. The shed can be locked and keeps her car protected from the elements, though at almost double the cost for parking a car in an open lot at the same locality.

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