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New parking lots, a breath of fresh air for car owners

M. Balaganessin
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Facility comes to the rescue of office goers and owners who can avoid parking on roadsides

more space:A parking lot near Mambazhasalai at Srirangam in the city.Photo: M.Moorthy
more space:A parking lot near Mambazhasalai at Srirangam in the city.Photo: M.Moorthy

: Four-wheelers are no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Hassle-free loans by banks and other financial institutions, attractive exchange mela by car dealers and special offers by car manufacturers have all resulted in a spurt in the volume of cars in Tiruchi city.

Purchasing a car is easier than its upkeep and maintenance. For those who do not have adequate space for parking cars at their homes, the problem starts with the question of parking. With apartments coming up in large numbers in Srirangam, Tiruvanaikovil, Thillainagar, Cantonment, Uthamarkoil, and Samayapuram the parking of vehicles is a big headache for residents.

A new trade of opening parking lots for four wheelers at several parts of the city has come to the rescue of car owners. But for these parking lots, the vehicles will have to be parked on the roadsides in the open without any safety . No doubt, this concept has brought much relief to vehicle owners.

These lots have a parking capacity varying between 30 and 60 cars depending upon the area. “When I started the parking lot, I did not expect that it will cater to the needs of so many people in and around Srirangam,” says B. Vasudevan (60).

He understood the problem faced by car owners in parking their vehicles during the night or during their vacations. He started the parking service utilising 14,000 square feet area near Mambazha Salai in March last year. “From just five cars during the initial three months, the capacity has now risen to 60 and there has been a growing demand from a lot more people,” he says. The daily rent which was Rs.30 has now been revised to Rs.35, with a monthly rent of Rs.1,000.

Mr. Vasudevan says he ensures safety for vehicles. Primarily, the parking lot is closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and nobody is allowed to park or take the vehicle during this time.

The parking lot has come in handy for a number of office-goers who are employed at places such as Musiri, Thuraiyur or Thottiam. A customer from Thozhudur who operates a call taxi in the day in the city parks vehicle here.

David, a businessman near Thathachariar Gardens on Melur road in Srirangam, says he has been enjoying satisfactory service at the parking lot. “My vehicle is very important. Although I had purchased the car, I have no space at my apartment. I do not mind walking a while for the sake of protecting my car,” he says. He has been parking the vehicle at this lot for the past four months.

For Mr. Vasudevan, the trade involves a greater responsibility with a professional skill. “I am fully aware of the provisions of the insurance scheme and I am running the trade on the lines of an insurance firm,” he says. He issues a token to every car owner which should be returned while taking the car. Car owners changing their drivers alert him immediately so that he does not allow their old drivers to take the car. He had taken a license from the City Corporation for the trade.

A.Alphonse running Sri Vekkaliamman Car parking on Chennai bypass road at Senthaneerpuram, says his lot caters to residents of narrow bylanes in Sangiliandapuram and Senthaneerpuram areas, where cars could not proceed.

Private parking lots have come up in Santhukadai, Babu road, Ponmalaipatti road, Subramaniapuram, and Sinnakadai street. While the monthly fee in the lots in Babu road and Santhukadai, both busy localities, ranged from Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000, the fee in areas like Subramaniapuram, Ponmalaipatti road is Rs.800.

These parking lots come in handy to businessmen having shops at busy localities. Parking vehicles in front of their shops leads to traffic congestion and also affect business. These parking lots are of big help to them.

A cross section of Tiruchi city residents feel the corporation should set up such parking lots in vacant sites, like Yanaikulam in Singarathope. Such a facility will also bring more revenue to the corporation, says Ahmed Hussain, business man.

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