TAMIL NADU

As vehicles stay, footpaths fade away

BLATANT VIOLATION: Two- wheelers of private offices parked in a school zone where parking is not allowed.

BLATANT VIOLATION: Two- wheelers of private offices parked in a school zone where parking is not allowed.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: V.Ganesan

Deepa H Ramakrishnan and T. Madhavan

Even resident welfare associations that have a stronger voice are unable to tackle the problem

CHENNAI: Residents of newly commercialised areas in the city are helpless against illegal parking in front of their own homes.

For instance, residents of EVR Lane off Poonamallee High Road are forced to put up with vehicles of visitors to a private hospital constantly parked on their street.

“We are tired of petitioning the Chennai Corporation, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and the police. As the hospital concerned wields more influence, no action is taken. But as we have no other approach to the main road, we are contemplating a road roko,” said a worried resident, who did not want to be named.

Despite the fact that we have put up a boom barrier (a bar, or pole that blocks vehicular access when placed horizontally) many vehicles enter our area claiming to be visitors to our apartment complex of 200 houses. “We have been forced to provide passes for our own residents,” said another resident. Residents say that the poor policing and official apathy are the reasons for such situations.

In many areas, private security personnel are deputed by the commercial institutions to secure the public footpath space for their parking needs.

They convert sidewalks into private parking lots, said A. Viswanathan, a resident of Gopalpuram in Ayanavaram.

In Royapettah, a big multiplex has even barricaded a service lane on Whites Road to guide vehicles into its parking lot.

S. Rajamani, a retired government official, said that in some flats developed in the 1990s, most cars were still being parked on public roads adjoining the flats.

Common parking zones should be identified and rented by the apartments, he said.

D.S. Sivaswamy, former Joint director of Municipal Administration Department, said lack of enforcement of development control rules by local bodies and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority is the major cause for the present situation.

He said that builders should provide adequate parking space for vehicles proportionate to the built up area while undertaking construction.

Even resident welfare associations that have a stronger voice when compared to individuals are unable to tackle the problem.

V. Rajagopal, resident of TVS Colony of Anna Nagar West Extension, said that complaints lodged with the police by their association had elicited very little response.

“With many apartments being used as offices, there is an increase in vehicle population in residential areas,” he said.

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