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Multi-level car parking facility on the cards

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The Hindu       07.09.2016  

Multi-level car parking facility on the cards

Corporation plans to hire a consultant to prepare detailed project report

Faced with a traffic mess caused by the absence of parking space in many of the prime commercial areas, the Tiruchi Corporation plans to build a multi-level car parking lot in the city.

The Corporation has decided to hire a consultant through Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services to prepare a detailed project report.

A resolution to this effect was approved at a recent Corporation council meeting. The move is based on a directive from the Commissioner of Municipal Administration, asking the civic body to forward a proposal to hire a consultant.

The Corporation has tentatively identified a 0.43-acre site along Rettai Vaaikal that runs across the cross roads in Thillai Nagar.

A Corporation official said the space along the channel has been cleared of encroachments and a multi-level parking lot could be constructed without affecting the drainage canal. However, a decision on the location would be taken only after a survey by the consultant, an official said.

The decision comes in the wake of persistent demands from civic activists and residents to regulate parking in places such as West Boulevard Road, NSB Road, Nandhi Koil Street, Thillai Nagar Main Road, Shastri Road and other places.

Narrow roads and indiscriminate parking of vehicles have made driving a nightmarish experience in these areas. Many of the major commercial establishments, which have set shop in multi-storey buildings, do not have parking space.

The few that could can hardly accommodate a handful of cars and two-wheelers.

In Thillai Nagar, people visiting shops and innumerable commercial establishments along Thillai Nagar Main Road and Shastri Road park their vehicles on the roadside. The situation has turned so bad that vehicles could hardly negotiate some of the cross roads, especially the 11th Cross. Accidents have become frequent at the cross road intersections.

Pay-and-park system

In 2014, the Corporation unveiled a plan to introduce a pay-and-park system on a pilot basis, predominantly in and around Thillai Nagar, but the initiative never took off. Earlier, it had toyed with an idea of building a multi-storeyed parking lot at Yanaikulam where a commercial complex is planned to be built. Civic activists have long been suggesting that a parking lot be established at Yanaikulam.

“The parking lot should be located around the Mainguard Gate area, given its proximity to the city’s main commercial areas,” said M. Sekaran, president, Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations. The Corporation should create designated parking areas in each locality and the space available beneath Thennur overbridge can be used for the purpose, he said.

But not all are convinced that the latest move by the Corporation to build a multi-level parking lot could solve the problem.

“Thillai Nagar attracts a lot of floating population and it is doubtful whether people visiting the shops and business houses would go all the way to Fort Station road to park their vehicle and walk down,” says Jude P. Armstrong, a resident of Thillai Nagar.

Pointing out that indiscriminate two-wheeler parking also caused the problem, Mr. Armstrong feels that introduction of pay-and-park system and strict enforcement would be an ideal solution.

The corporation could appoint contractors to collect the fee and it would get revenue also, he said.

N. Ramakrishnan, a civic activist, also says the Corporation would do well to find an immediate solution by earmarking parking spaces rather than squandering public money on ambitious projects.