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Love Thy neighbour

August 30, 2015
'We are neighbours, officer.'

‘We are neighbours, officer.’

I was just dozing off after a rather heavy breakfast, the newspaper I was trying to read almost slipping out of my hands, when the commotion outside woke me up. My wife and my mother were instantly on the balcony to see what it was all about. I tried to get back to my shut-eye, but the decibel levels outside was rising and it was getting difficult to ignore it. I stepped out into the balcony where my wife was giving a running commentary to my mother. My mother is a little short of hearing. The people living on my right, whom for easy identification I will call Right and the folks living opposite my house, whom I will call (you have guessed right) Opposite were fighting. After a few minutes of listening to their fight I could make out the plot. Right had parked his SUV right opposite Opposite’s gate, which in effect prevented Opposite to take out his car, right when he needed it.

So how did this confrontation happen so suddenly. Right had brought home a brand new SUV to add to his sedan. Opposite already had 2 cars. What they did not have is parking space in their house. Right used to park his first car in front of his house, on the road. Opposite used to park his first car in front of his house and the  second car also on the road side a little further from his house. When Right bought the SUV, he reserved the space where Opposite parks his second car, by parking a motor cycle there. When Opposite returned home he finds a motor cycle parked in the place where he normally parks his car, He promptly moved the motor cycle and parked the car. When Right comes back later in the night, he finds that his reserved place had be usurped by Opposite and in retaliation parks the car blocking Opposite’s  entrance. After a lot of name calling by both sides, someone calls the police. The police try to reason out with both of them. Opposite says that he is in the right, after all he had been parking the car in the exact same spot for years now. Right, on the other hand feels quite the opposite. He argues that the place is a common place and anybody can park where they please. Moreover Opposite did not have the right to move the motor cycle. Both stubbornly hold their places and after a point the sub inspector loses his cool and shouts at them. After some persuasions by some passer-bys  and good Samaritans they end their stand-off and arrive at a solution, which they could have done themselves if each had a little courtesy to talk to each other sensibly.

The moot point is encroachment. Well to do people encroach on roads to park their cars..In most countries you need to establish that you have adequate parking place in your house before you can own a car. Most cars are parked so haphazardly on the roads that they block vision on turnings or cross roads. The second point is rich, educated people fighting over something that is not theirs. Will they buy a refrigerator, or a wardrobe or a washing machine for which they do not have space  in their house and leave it on the roads.?

The Chennai Corporation has a  huge opportunity to make some money here, They cannot control this parking, at least they can charge an annual fee for parking and issue a smart tag. Any vehicle without the smart tag can be towed away. The money can at least be used to repair the roads that they are constantly digging up

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2015 18:32

    Pertinent post, right, opposite and everywhere.
    This has to be one of the real problems in urban areas, and now getting to the semi urban areas as well.
    Do send this suggestion to the Corporation. If accepted, it will be a working model for us too. Anything to get better roads. 🙂

    • September 2, 2015 12:32

      Thank you Usha. The government knows this. They must be getting grease money from organisations and travel operators for parking their fleet on the roads. There are a lot of IT companies, whose licensed operators park their buses wherever they please. As a part of their CSR, they (companies) can rein in these people,because of the huge volume of business. But they seldom do. All tall talk of CSR is bunkum.

  2. Geetha permalink
    August 30, 2015 22:11

    good suggestion. notonly in Chennai,any state in India corporation authorities should consider this

    • September 2, 2015 12:33

      Thank you Geetha (Cheriamma?). Please see my reply to Usha.

  3. venkata ramana permalink
    August 30, 2015 22:14

    not an idea Sirji.corpn vallu Carlu unna vallani vadili only 2 wheelarla owners ni pattestaru.mee script style matram bavundi

    • September 2, 2015 12:35

      Thanks Ramana, whether 2 wheelers or 4 wheelers anybody creating traffic problems have to be discouraged.

  4. September 1, 2015 22:21

    A couple of very good points in the end:
    One – will people keep their household stuff on the roads in case they keep on hoarding?
    Second – A way to earn some money by the government. I think they should do that, else it will all be a mess in the coming years and decades and the situation will go out of control.

    Pretty good story you have shared and it needs some thinking and resolution soon!

    • September 2, 2015 12:38

      Alok, I wish it was a story. I have not made up anything including the the Right and Opposite. Please see my reply to Usha about government intervention.

  5. K Narayanan permalink
    September 3, 2015 05:49

    Parking Barking

    Write time to speak about, at least in couple of years govt may take steps

    Now iniitiated

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