KOCHI: With barely days left for the much-awaited Thiruvonam day, people have started rushing to textile and electronic shops in the city. MG Road, one of the prime shopping areas in Kochi, has started feeling the heat, with more and more families heading to the shops lining the stretch. However, the shopping frenzy has turned out to be a headache for many, as several people coming to shop in the area have started illegally parking their vehicles on the roadside.
A check done by City Express on Sunday found that as many as 100 vehicles were illegally parked on both sides of the road. With this illegal parking, negotiating MG Road, already congested owing to the Kochi Metro work, has become a tougher task for commuters.
“Owing to traffic congestion, it usually takes almost 20-30 minutes to cover this MG Road stretch. But with people starting to park their vehicles on the roadside, the travelling time has gone up to 40-50 minutes,” said R Rakesh, who works with a private firm.
The stretch is not only giving a headache to motorists but also for pedestrians, as in some areas along the stretch the vehicles are parked on the footpath. “Only people who own a vehicle can pass through MG Road as most of the footpaths are occupied by vehicles. The crowd has increased considerably, with the state getting into a festive mood. It is the duty of the Traffic Police and MVD to control the illegal parking, but what they are doing is just imposing fines. The authorities are giving less importance to pedestrians,” he added.
A man who parked his vehicle illegally on the roadside said that the dearth of parking space forced people like him depend on the roadside. “The only option available for us is to park our vehicles on the roadside as we are not visiting the big shopping malls. It is the responsibility of the authorities to provide ample parking space but, unfortunately, we couldn’t find any here,” he said requesting, anonymity.