CHENNAI : Even before work on a pedestrian plaza is fully complete, residents, shoppers, workers and owners of nearby shops have started parking their cars and bikes on the pavement meant for walking.
On a weekday, the stretch at Pondy Bazaar is lined with several cars and bikes. A car was even seen being raised onto the platform with a wooden plank. With work on the Rs 33.8 crore pedestrian-plaza nearing completion, all but pedestrians get a taste of the plaza.
“The pavement looked very inviting to me, but I find that I have to make my way round so many cars and bikes parked here,” said Rama S, who had come to shop at Pondy Bazaar with her daughter. While civil work in the pedestrian plaza is almost complete, only aesthetic arrangements like installation of street furniture are to be done. “People here need to take responsibility. Anyone can see that it is meant for pedestrians but it does not stop them from parking their hefty cars on a platform designed for pedestrians,” said Sathyaprakash P of Mylapore who was there to shop.
Corporation officials believe that the situation is set to change in a few days. “The issue will be solved soon. Parking management cameras are already installed and are being tested, bollards are being placed and Sivagnanam Road parking lot is being prepared,” said a corporation official.
“In addition, the side roads will be cleaned up and parking will be pushed to them,” he said.
On whether this will succeed in keeping bikes off the plaza, the official said,”Yes, many bikes there belong to employees (of Pondy Bazaar shops). All are to go to Sivagnanam Road parking lot and other places. Plus the cameras will monitor,” he said. Corporation officials have also taken up a feasibility study of implementing a similar project at Anna Nagar, Tondiarpet and Velachery.