Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whose road is it anyway?

Whose road is it anyway?

The Hindu

BANGALORE: Though traffic police personnel are empowered to regulate parking on the roads, their role seems ineffective. Take the case of shops and commercial establishments which occupy public space in front of their outlets and cordon them off with chains and metal railings to enable just their customers to walk in or to park their vehicles while preventing the rest of the world from doing so.

This sense of entitlement is common practice and many Bangaloreans may not even be aware that the practice is illegal. The Hindu team found several shops on many roads in the city, including Seppings Road, Infantry Road, Dispensary Road and Ibrahim Sahib Street using such barricades with vehicles parked even in no-parking zones. One shop on Dispensary Road had occupied more than 10 feet of space. Its proprietor, Irfan, said only his father, who has been running the shop for 35 years, could answer to our queries. He declined to give the phone number.

A little distance away, a fabric store has occupied about five feet of the road "to let in its customers". Its owner, Vijayakumar, saw no reason why this should not be done and could not understand how this had caused problem to others.

A furniture shop on Infantry had placed two pole barricades resembling those erected by the police. "Is that so?" asked its manager Sheela.

Role of police

"Point out the spots. I will take action to remove them," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic- East) M.A. Saleem when the issue was brought to his notice. He said the role of the traffic police is limited to regulation and enforcement.

In April 2006, the police recommended pay and park system on 91 roads, including stretches needing metered parking similar to those Brigade Road and on Commercial Street. "It is for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to take decision and provide facilities for parking," Mr. Saleem said.


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