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Sunday, April 23, 2006
Perhaps the most important problem that Indian cities are faced with,is that of vehicle parking spaces.Take the case of T.Nagar in Chennai.This is easily the city's shopping hub which does not have a proper space to park vehicles.There are swanky,multistoreyed buildings in a one-foot wide street(read Ranganathan street) and in Panagal Park but these building don't have provision for customers to park their vehicles.Where does the problem lie?Who is the root cause of the problem?Read on:

It so happened that a particular family came shopping in T.nagar in their newly purchased car.The search for a parking spot was on,while the car was being manoeuvred towards Panagal park.Tough luck forced him to move further looking for any empty space that is available.The car moved further and further and finally,much to the driver's relief,an open space capable of holding nearly 200 cars,came into sight.But it was only after parking that the driver discovered that he was not in T.nagar but in a remotely interior out-of-bounds village near a town called Tambaram.This must be enough evidence to prove that parking spaces are unavailable in any area in the city.

The problem lies with the Real Estate developers.These people lay their hands on any available vacant,poromboke land available and construct apartments or malls.As luck would have it,these constructions come up on a road that is barely one-foot wide.And the construction stays right close to the road leaving absolutely little space on the sides of the road,which would be of some use when the road is to be widened.And the same developers,during Real Estate booms(that happen each time the sensex shoots up or when Advani goes out for a yatra)remark that the government has to provide wider roads.Now how on earth can u expect the government to widen roads when you havent provided any space for widening?

Whose fault is it anyway?
**First the usual scapegoat,the government:The government officials in the metropolitan development authority must be foolish enough to approve a commercial construction that is devoid of a parking lot.A case is that of a shop called Pazhamudir Cholai in Besant nagar road.The shop attracts about 1000 customers per day,most of whom come by cars.The lack of parking space forces many cars to be stranded on the roads and this subsequently causes buses to slow down near the turning from adyar bus depot.How on earth was this shop given approval to run business in such a small space?Blame it on red-tapism.

**The construction itself:Or rather,the owner of the construction.The guy who set up Pazhamudhir Cholai wouldnt have done so without envisaging this many number of customers.It is his duty to see that he provides necessary and sufficient parking spaces for his customers.A pazhamudhir-cholai-type shop requires space about half the size of a cricket ground.But such vast spaces are virtually absent within a city.A classic case of foolishness,lack of proper lateral thinking is that of Saravana Stores.This fellow's leaving no space untouched in T.nagar and one day t.nagar may be renamed as Saravana nagar.

**The customers:I too fall under this category.I have done my bit to damage the city's roads by owning a bike myself and it would be gross injustice if i exclude myself from this category.But it should be noted that a bike doesn't occupy as much space as a car does.One way out is to park the bike @ a particular location and then walk,provided the location's at a walkable distance from the place where you park.You cant park your bike at Tambaram and walk all the way to T.nagar.The same cannot be applied to cars.You can fit a bike in a small 2-inch slot between two other bikes,but is that possible in case of cars?Car owners must first examine if there is parking space available.If there is,then take your car with you.Else,travel by bus.Surely you're not going to lose your prestige by travelling in a bus.

With the finance minister cutting down duties for cars,the number of cars in bound to increase in the near future.In such circumstances,the city would become more choked.vacant lands would disappear within a city.This would force developers to look for land in the suburbs.Soon those suburbs would give way to Malls and multiplexes.Then no agricultural land would be left.Meanwhile the common man keeps complaining about the lack of infrastructure and keeps suggesting that "We want good roads.","We want wider roads" etc.

Disclaimer:The character used the in the story above is a fictitious one and has no resemblance to any living or dead person or ghosts.
Property of Sheks @ 5:47 pm  
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Name: Sheks
Home: Madras, TamilNadu, India
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