An independent agency for towing of vehicles in no-parking zones of Chennai Metropolitan Area will start operations if the State government accepts the new draft parking policy.
At a review of the draft parking policy by senior officials of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department on Thursday, officials stressed on the need to make changes in the relevant laws to facilitate civic bodies that own the roads to entrust the task of towing vehicles to another agency as the traffic police were “overstretched.”
Officials at the meeting pointed to the fact that the number of vacancies in traffic police had been rising and there was shortage of staff to regulate parking in Greater Chennai Corporation limits and other local bodies of the Chennai Metropolitan Area.
The draft parking policy for 5,904 sq. km of the Chennai Metropolitan Area will be submitted to the government shortly. A meeting with the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority will be held shortly. Once the State government gives its nod to the policy, changes will be brought to the relevant laws to delegate powers to agencies to tow away vehicles from no-parking zones, said an official.
At present, the Corporation has less than 100 locations for on-street parking in the city. Many on-street parking locations have been removed from the list owing to infrastructure projects such as Metro Rail. As a result, the Greater Chennai Traffic Police had been unable to curb unauthorised parking on many roads. The traffic police were now entrusted with the task of towing of vehicles from no-parking zones. Owing to inadequate manpower, the traffic police had not been able to enforce the no-parking rule in many congested areas, said an official.
As the Corporation is the owner of the 471 bus route roads and 35,000 streets in the 426 sq km of the city, the new institutional structure for regulating parking is expected to give more powers to it.
A final decision would be taken by the State government.