Chennai

Shoppers get a new experience at plaza

Gaining traction: The multi-level parking facility in Pondy Bazaar can accommodate up to 317 cars and 418 two-wheelers.   | Photo Credit: RAGHUNATHAN SR

The first of its kind in the city, the pedestrian plaza in Pondy Bazaar is a hit with the citizens. Since the onset of second wave of COVID-19, shops are seeing customers coming in with masks. Some shops religiously follow the norm of thermal checks and offer hand sanitisers.

Residents from distant suburbs such as Puzhal and Mugappair are in awe of the plaza and those living within its vicinity enjoy the surprises the plaza springs up occasionally.

That apart, the multilevel car park, which was opened a month ago, is a novelty for many visitors although patronage is low.

New experience

On Sunday, several families that came from distant places, said they were using the multilevel car park facility for the first time.

B. Shivashankar, who came from Puzhal with his family for shopping, said: “I tried to find a spot on the road. But there was no vacant spot.” He had to go around from Panagal Park via G.N. Road and then decided to use the multi-level car parking facility.

“It is better that I park here. What if someone parks behind my vehicle and I am unable to remove it? I will have to wait till the owner returns for his car,” he said.

Prasad Ramachandran from Mogappair, who was visiting Pondy Bazaar for the first time, had no qualms about permitting a valet to park his car.

However, many continue to opt for on-street parking. According to the attendants at the multi-level car parking facility, during weekends around 150 to 160 cars are parked, whereas the number drops to 30 or 40 during weekdays.

Patronage for two-wheeler parking slots was abysmally low. Less than a dozen two-wheelers were parked on any given day. The facility can accommodate 317 cars and 418 two-wheelers.

Monthly pass

Sources said the Greater Chennai Corporation officials were monitoring the situation. There had been representation from shop owners’ associations seeking monthly passes for vehicles. “The talks began but with resurgence of COVID-19 infections and the elections not much happened,” a source said.

Overhead cost remained an issue for issuing monthly passes. The parking lot functions from 9.30 a.m. till 10 p.m. But keeping it open for a few vehicle owners who wish to park for an entire month was not feasible, sources point out.

“It is not just that we have to appoint valets and parking attendants. We will have to keep track of the functioning of sensors. What happens if suddenly there is an emergency and somebody wants to take their vehicle out in the early hours?” asked the source.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:23:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/shoppers-get-a-new-experience-at-plaza/article34297742.ece

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