Parking problems


There was a time when car parking was no problem at all. There were very few cars in general. Every house had a garage to park their vehicles in.

Individual houses with a spacious compound were the norm in towns. Flats were far and few in between. In those days, parking on roads was not as restricted and parking in front of the houses was not prohibited. Towing vehicles away or paying for the parking space was unheard of.

Now, with the boom in the production of cars, diminishing parking space, and a myriad of
confusing rules and regulations , car owners are at their wit’s end. As one frustrated car owner puts it, “Just like we book the chowltry prior to fixing the date of the wedding, we have to think of parking space before taking out the car.”

I am reminded of an incident as told to me by a friend — a man had once requested a mall-owner for parking space, even offering double the required deposit amount to
secure parking space. Nowadays, we find this parking problem permeating into apartment spaces too.

In an apartment building, each flat is given a free parking lot. Each resident is supposed to adhere to this strictly and should not, in any way,  infringe upon the neighbour’s space.

Feigning forgetfulness, inmates create confusion in the smooth running of the system by dumping the vehicle of a friend or relative in any one of the empty parking spots available at the moment.

When the rightful car makes its appearance and flounders with no space to land, it is the poor watchman who has to face the music. Smooth running of the system frayed thus, the secretary of the building undergoes a horrendous time explaining and pacifying the enraged flat owners.

It is worse when outsiders treat the building as their own and deposit their vehicle right outside the apartment gate, making it difficult for others to commute. And when the owners of such vehicles are missing  for hours on end, imagine the turmoil! The watchman acts
helpless, offering his bathroom breaks as an excuse for his ignorance.

Recently, in one of the nearby buildings, a flat fell vacant. Naturally, the owner hiked the rent to an exorbitant amount. Finding the rent beyond their means, many declined the offer. Just as the owner was getting desperate for tenants to occupy his flat, a rich party took it up. The tenant arrived in a huge foreign car — a car bigger than the parking space available — a paraphernalia of scooters, and a cycle! The poor secretary of the building almost reeled under a massive heart attack.

When the man insisted on keeping them all, the exasperated secretary clinched the matter in Shylock-Portia style — “Yes sir, you can keep anything you like in your parking area. Not just scooters and cycles, but even bullock carts, donkey coaches, jutka, rickshaw and what-have-you, but all strictly within your
allotted space, not an inch more.”

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