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Chennai Corporation request to Tamil Nadu government for custody of 55 roads left in limbo

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The New Indian Express       09.12.2017 

Chennai Corporation request to Tamil Nadu government for custody of 55 roads left in limbo

CHENNAI: The Greater Chennai Corporation’s request to the State government to hand over to it 55 roads, stretching about 256 km in the city, from the State highways, has not seen any progress despite repeated reminders.

To ensure smooth vehicular movement and better traffic design, the civic body has urged the government to transfer the State highways in Chennai to it. These include Anna Salai (from Muthusamy bridge up to Kathipara) and GST Road (Guindy-Tambaram) that connects Chennai- Tiruchy National Highway-45 and EVR Periyar Salai (Poonamallee High Road) from Muthusamy bridge, near Park Town, up to Maduravoyal that connects Chennai-Bengaluru bypass.

In addition, the corporation has also said several other roads that run for about 3 km to 5 km, including Velachery-Taramani link road, Velachery-Thorapakkam road, Velachery-Tambaram road, Muthuramalinga Devar Salai, Thyagarayar road and 100-feet road be brought under its jurisdiction for improvements.

“To improve the traffic design of the roads, we have proposed to develop many junctions where the city inner roads join Anna Salai and EVR Periyar Salai. For such projects, we need these roads to be handed over to the corporation. There are also plans to provide digital boards and other improvement works at these junctions under the Smart City programme,” explained a corporation official.

The civic body has also a dedicated wing to maintain storm water drains in the city. “During floods, the corporation is forced to clear the storm water drain of State highways as well,” the official added.
The civic body maintains about 33,747 inner roads, spread over 5525 km in the width of 10 feet to 40 feet. In addition to this, 471 bus route roads (above 40 feet width) for a length of 387 km are under its jurisdiction.

However, State highways officials said highway roads are developed once in three years based on traffic volume. “Anna Salai and Poonamallee High Road carry more than 1.75 lakh vehicles a day. These roads are to be maintained at the highest standards. The top layer of the road is 50 mm thick to ensure that the roads withstand heavy vehicle flow and different climatic conditions. In addition, the roads are inspected and certified by a senior official in the quality control wing, which the corporation does not have,” an official said.

The official said that only qualified contractors can participate in highway road works as the value of tenders are above `two crore and tenders are regularly issued to maintain the storm water drain.”

A professor of transport engineering in Anna University, who did not wish to be named, said for better transportation planning, roads that pass through the city should be administered by the corporation. “For better traffic design and planning, road network should be integrated and administrated by one department,” he said.

Theatre parking fee capped at Rs 20; malls exempted in Tamil Nadu

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The New Indian Express      06.12.2017  

Theatre parking fee capped at Rs 20; malls exempted in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: The maximum parking fee that can be collected at movie theatres in the state is Rs 20 for cars and Rs 10 for motorbikes, as per a recent order by Additional Chief Secretary Niranjan Mardi. However, these rates are not applicable for theatres in malls, as they are governed by different rules.

The government order issued on November 30, but made public only on Tuesday, said the new parking rates were effective from December 1. However, the theatres owners’ association said the order was ambiguous and sought an appointment with Niranjan Mardi.

“It is not clear if the rates are on an hourly basis or per show. We hope there is some clarity after the meeting,” said Abirami Ramanathan, president of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association.

As per the order, theatres in municipal corporations and special grade municipalities can charge Rs 20 for cars and three-wheelers and Rs 10 for motorbikes. In municipalities, the fee is Rs 15 for cars and Rs 7 for motorbikes; in town and village panchayats, it is Rs 5 and Rs 3. There will be no parking charge for bicycles.

The fees were fixed by amending the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Act 1955 and the order would mean cinema hall owners cannot change the price at will or charge exorbitant rates for parking.

“The parking rate charged by malls will be regulated by them, not the cinema halls. The amendment may not be applicable to Escape, but will be applied at Sathyam,” a spokesperson of SPI Cinemas told The New Indian Express, but added that there is lack of clarity about the amendment.


Excess fee collection at parking lot irks daily users

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The Hindu        03.03.2017

Excess fee collection at parking lot irks daily users

A two-wheeler rider waits for getting the receipt of parking fee at the parking lot at Central Bus Stand in Tiruchi on Monday.Photo: B. Velankanni RajB_VELANKANNI RAJ  

Double the fee collected for bicycles, two-wheelers

Excessive fee collection at the two-wheeler parking lot in Central Bus Stand has raised concern among users. The multi-level parking lot, owned by the Tiruchi Corporation, is being maintained and operated by a private contractor. It serves hundreds of commuters, office goers, students and traders of Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Karur.

The vehicle users park their two wheelers at the bus stand before boarding buses to their respective destinations. They would have to pay parking fee for every 24 hours to the contractor for parking the vehicles.

As per the board put up by the Tiruchi Corporation, Rs. 3 is charged for bicycles. It is Rs. 5 for two wheelers per day.

The 24-hour period starts from the time of parking. But, this is hardly followed by those employed by the contractor at the parking lot. They collect Rs. 10 for two-wheelers per day. As far as bicycles are concerned, the question does arise as the parking lot hardly receives bicycles.

In addition to it, against the rules and regulations stipulated by the Corporation, the staff manning the lot force the users to pay Rs. 10 more if they fail to remove their respective two wheelers before 12.30 a.m. To the surprise of many, the fee collectors issue receipt for collecting Rs. 10 a day.

“We pay double the amount that has been stated on the display board, hardly visible to many. No one can question them for collecting the excess fee. If we raise questions, we will be landing in trouble as they abuse us,” K. Karthick of Palakkarai, a regular user of the two-wheeler parking stand said.

V. Gowthaman of Karur, another regular user said that he had seen many altercations and fisticuffs between the fee collectors and two-wheeler owners for questioning about the excess charge being collected.

“The fee is exorbitant. We are forced to park our vehicles in the open. There is no safety for our vehicles too,” Mr. Karthick also charged.

S. Pushpavanam, secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu, said that the issue could not be allowed to go unchecked. There should be a transparent system.

Ensure transparency

The Tiruchi Corporation should take necessary steps to ensure transparency. It should not hesitate to cancel the licence of the contractor if he failed to follow the rules.

Responding to the complaints, Special Officer-cum-Corporation Commissioner N.Ravichandran said he would depute a team of officials to look into the issue and take appropriate action.

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