Tuesday, May 24, 2016

No Parking

There are many ways to enforce 'No Parking'.  The most common one found is the legal way where the authorities, ready Police, enforce 'No Parking' on roads and areas that might lead to congestion. 

The other one found nowadays is where people think that space outside the compound wall is also their own. For owners like me who drive their own car, the search for legal parking space is so difficult due to the increased number of vehicles and the minimum available parking spaces allowed by the civil authorities, especially, if you wish to stick by the parking rules.  Those with drivers have it easy as they do not have to bother about it, though the matter rattles the drivers brains too.  Drivers usually park on the road and move their car on sight a policeman or a patrol car.  Further, they are treated better by the police authorities as they are not owners.  We owners who have to do it all have a tough time. 

However, added to this is the problem of people who enforce 'No Parking' in multiple ways near and around their compound walls.

One such is the above.  On a sunday, when everything was closed, we found this.  There was no parking space around and when we tried parking in front of the building, the watchman started questioning us as to whether we can't see the board.  We did question back as to how they can stop people from parking on the road, but to no avail.  

On working days, the people who work in such commercial complexes park their vehicles through the day in front of the buildings - the reason for cordoning off the area.  Law requires that building complexes have underground/basement as parking areas.  While on paper this is very much present, once approval is obtained, the basement also becomes commercial.  In some cases, only two wheeler parking is allowed.  Authorities are well aware of this practice,  but they do not take the effort to enforce this for various reasons.  

This is not the first time we have faced such an issue.  On earlier instances, I have had a war of words about how they are curtailing our rights as citizens and so on.... On asking a policeman who was nearby, how civil authorities are allowing such unauthorized 'No Parking' areas, his only answer was to file a complaint and he will check it out.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  A policeman never requires a warrant or anything to pick people.  However, to enforce law he writes, he needs a warrant from a common man.  This inaction by authorities has led to common occurrences of such cases in many of the main roads.

Another indirect way of enforcing 'No Parking' followed by many is to grow a garden on the road in front of their homes.  It does not matter to many that their home stands on more than 50 cents of land and the road is so far away.  They have many an excuse - add to green cover, eco friendly, afforestation and many such.  The only excuse I care to listen is about people dirtying near the wall. To one such owner, I did have a question.  'Why have you cemented the area inside the compound wall totally ? Why didn't you grow plants inside too ?'  No answer, only a stare and a walkout telling they can't talk to people like me.  Seriously, I was asking a valid question - wasn't I ?   In Coimbatore, you can see such gardens commonly on Race Course and RS Puram.  Other areas are following suit.    Earlier, on Race Course with only bungalows doting the place and vehicular traffic being scarce, it was okay.  However, in the past few years, with rapid consumerism, Race Course is fast becoming a commercial area - restaurants, bistros, cafes, boutiques, showrooms.  However, the space for parking is limited forcing many to park wherever possible.  

Authorities and Coimbatoreans need to come together to find a solution for this.  Either the authorities provide permission to convert residential areas to commercial only after parking areas are demarcated or they ask the owners to provide for parking and then start a commercial venture.  Also, provide common parks where people who like gardening on the road can do so with wild abandon and nurture their interests.  If there is a mid-ground, then let's find it.  It needs to be done at the earliest.

All of the above is only to make the common man's life easy.  Authorities always have it easy - one will find official vehicles parked in the middle of the road with the driver waiting for his boss, nose up - they own the roads, so please do not ask them.  Doing so will be at your own peril.

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