Police curb day-long parking on Residency Road

Police curb day-long parking on Residency Road

Vehicles parked along Residency Road, Bengaluru, on Wednesday. DH PHOTOS/B H SHIVAKUMAR

Aiming to rid Residency Road of school vehicles parked illegally –and creates chaos for motorists—the traffic police are proposing to charge Rs 1,000 as fine.

Several vehicles belonging to the schools located in Residency Road park double line from 7 am to 4 pm and constrict traffic movement.

The traffic police have been fining vehicles idling in no-parking zones from last week. They have asked the school vehicles to leave once they drop the children and return at the pick-up time. They would levy hefty fines on vehicles violating the restriction from July 20.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) P Harishekaran stressed the urgent need to take back the public space from vehicles illegally encroach illegal occupants.

Harishekaran told DH that authorities allowed parkings near the schools a long time ago when Bengaluru’s traffic was moderate, despite the fact that the practice was illegal.

He said 50 lakh vehicles were added to the traffic in the last 20 years and reclaiming public roads is vital to beat congestion.

“These school vans are parked on the side of the road from the morning and wait till children finish school in the evening. I have given instructions to concerned officers to allow the vans to drop children in the morning and return in the evening to pick them up,” he said.  

“Public roads are for general purpose and not for the school vehicles to occupy (one-third of the space). Thousands of vehicles are there in the Central Business District, and they give space for the public, otherwise it would be very difficult to maintain the traffic in CBD area,” Harishekaran added.

 A traffic policeman said they were wary of private cars parked outside the schools “for the whole day”.

“In many cases, there is one car for one child. In a school of thousands of children, this causes a huge problem on the roads,” he said. 

The restriction, however, has created an additional headache for private vans ferrying children to school each morning. While buses are allowed to park inside the school premises, the vans –a vital means of transport for thousands of school-goers- have not been assigned any parking space.

The private vans have just minutes to drop off the children and they are concerned about the younger ones who may not be in a position to take care of themselves.

“It is a matter of the safety of children,” says Arun, a van driver.

“The children are our responsibility and we are forced to drop them off on the footpath and drive away because of the new rules.”

Commuters, on the other hand, have welcomed the restrictions, with many thanking the traffic police for clearing the dreaded chockablock on social media. Many highlighted the traffic police’s work to ask the BBMP to do its bit.

“The problem is no action is being taken against BBMP engineers who approve commercial buildings without a parking space,” tweeted Hemanth Kumar from @frequent3911.

This, however, is not the first time an attempt has been made to decongest Residency Road. Over the last ten years, several traffic top cops have tried to declutter the road in vain.

“It is good for business,” says a restaurant manager. Security guards at private buildings say it is much easier to guide vehicles getting in and out of the office buildings. “Cars do not get lined up without movement anymore,” one of them said.

Vowing to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards parking menace, Harishekaran pointed to the massive hike in parking fines in Mumbai as the sign of pressure on the public space. “If the public space is going to be occupied by these vehicles, we’ll bear it no more,” he said.