Vehicle encroachments on both sides off Luz Church Road, Mylapore has been a problem for pedestrians especially senior citizens from a long time now.
Recently, K. Venkataramani, a senior resident of this area said, “Two-wheelers are parked on either side of the road, over the pavements from Chennai Meenakshi Multispeciality Hospital to Nageshwara Rao park. There is no space left for us to walk. And, many cars are parked all the time on the sides of the road. Hence we are finding great difficulty in walking and crossing the narrow road.”
Now, the area has become even more congested since the sale is on at a few shops here. On April 8, Human Rights and RTI activist Shanthi Kamalasekaran complained about the illegal vehicle encroachments on this road to Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic).
Shanthi Kamalasekaran said, “I came here for shopping at Rangachari Cloth Store. I was shocked to see so many two-wheelers parked here. Seniors were struggling to walk. And the shop has very little space for parking. Hence, I complained to the traffic control room.”
Immediately, two officers from the Traffic Department of E1 Mylapore Police Station were sent to the location to clear the encroachments.”Following her complaint, we received order to file cases against the people who have illegally parked their vehicles here,” said, P. Fraancis Merry, Sub Inspector, Traffic.
“We are regularly checking and filing cases on the vehicle encroachments on this road. But when we get other duties like election bandobast or traffic regulation during a VIP visit, we are not able to check,” she said.
“The shops should provide proper parking space. And the public should also act responsibly and park their vehicles at the right place. They should also complain to the concerned authorities if they come across something like this,” said Shanthi.
She was here for the entire duration from 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. till the vehicles were cleared.
K.Balaji, a staff at Rangachari Cloth Store said, “Recently, we have created parking space for 30 two-wheelers inside our premises. We are continuously seeking for parking space in the nearby areas. Many times we approached the Chennai Corporation for a solution. We have also tried to get parking space at a ground opposite to Nalli Silks in Luz Church Road. But we are not getting the space anywhere.”
“We have also requested permission from Andhra Mahila Sabha to use their space inside the gate for parking. They are ready to help us. But when the sale/exhibition is on at both the places we are not able to provide enough parking space,” he says.
Later, two seniors were walking on the cleared pavements, they said, “Now the vehicles are cleared. But later when there is no one to watch they will again pop up. We have lost hope that this problem will ever get solved.”
“There are so many seniors residing in this area and there are three hospitals here. All are facing this difficulty every day,” said one senior.
“Only if all the citizens consciously take an effort to curb the encroachments this can be successful,” said Shanthi.
- Photo by Shanthi Kamalasekaran