TAMIL NADU

Unauthorised parking lots set off lots of problems

A paid parking lot on Taramani-Velachery Main Road which remains unused.

A paid parking lot on Taramani-Velachery Main Road which remains unused.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: M. Karunakaran

Vidya Venkat

Road safety activist blames it on lack of proper enforcement of development rules by civic bodies

CHENNAI: S. Manorama, a resident of United India Colony in Kodambakkam, has trouble driving into her flat while returning from work every night. This is because the street where she lives is blocked by haphazardly parked vehicles. “Even during the day you can find water lorries, school vans and software company vehicles parked here,” she says.

P. Vanaja, a resident of Jeevarathnam Nagar in Adyar, finds herself doing her morning walks in the middle of the road because big cabs and software company vehicles have hijacked the space near the pavements. She says lodging complaints with the police helped temporarily but the vehicles reappeared.

On Pycrofts Road, Royapettah, trucks are parked in front of residential apartments. Residents here say a van turned into an eatery here also attracts a lot of visitors which blocks the road.

S. Srinivasan, a resident of Adambakkam, says that in almost all lanes and bylanes in this locality it is “cars, cars everywhere”. Several of these vehicles are those of call-taxi companies and travel agencies. The cab drivers are mostly on the move and find it convenient to park in the corner of a small lane whenever they want to relax, he says. However, some streets such as those in Officer’s Colony in Adambakkam had become a parking lot for these companies, he says.

Unauthorised parking has become a headache for several residential areas in the city. “Parking is seen as an issue by civic bodies only if it causes traffic snarls on busy roads. In residential areas, hardly anything is being done to solve the problem,” says T.Venkat, an activist with Walking Classes Unite, an initiative for pedestrian rights.

Road safety activist K. Ramasamy blames it on lack of proper enforcement of development rules by civic bodies and planning agencies. He says unplanned development and the mushrooming of matchbox-like apartments, without parking facility, all over the city have led to this situation.

However, in some areas even if private parking lots are made available, vehicle owners are reluctant to pay for the service. An instance of this can be seen on Velachery-Taramani Main Road, where a temple land has been converted into a parking lot. The place remains empty most of the time. Though no officer was available at the site for comment, a tea stall-owner nearby said that during day time, banks and shops located nearby attracted a lot of visitors who preferred to park by the roadside only.

Recommended for you