Business hub yet to recover fully from blow dealt by pandemic curbs, lockdown
The perennial problem of reckless parking has returned to haunt the business nerve centre of Broadway, which is yet to fully recover from the blow dealt by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Broadway was also closed down quite a few times even post-lockdown as it was declared a containment zone, further hampering business.
“Though Broadway is still a no-parking zone as designated by the Regional Transport Authority, it holds little meaning as unregulated and haphazard parking remains the norm. Staff and shop owners from the neighbouring Penta Menaka shopping complex park their two-wheelers here through the day as the space there has been made a paid service. We have raised the matter multiple times with the City Police and Corporation authorities, but no action has been forthcoming,” said P.S. Paul, former general secretary of the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry who runs a shop at Broadway.
The shop owners rue that the multiple layers of parking in front of shops keep customers away as they cannot stop their vehicles near the shop to load purchased items.
“The congestion caused by the parked vehicles coupled with the vendors on footpaths gives the impression that Broadway remains crowded all the time, which was also a reason why Broadway was declared a containment zone by the police more than once. The business is gradually picking up, but these issues hold it back,” said P.A. Sageer, president of Broadway Shop Owners Association.
In the past, Broadway was declared a no-vehicle zone in an attempt to decongest it, but that did not last long since it did not go down well with even a section of traders.
Mayor M. Anilkumar said a lasting solution would be found to the issue of unregulated parking and encroachment of footpaths and roads in the city through a phased intervention. “A coordination committee chaired by the Mayor has assigned a special joint team comprising Corporation and police officials to look into parking and encroachment issues. Besides, a special council is to be held to formulate a vending policy whereby identity cards will be issued to roadside vendors and they will be given time to move out of encroached spaces,” he said.
Mr. Anilkumar also said that traders were guilty of encroaching into footpaths and spaces in front of their shops. A holistic solution was needed and that would be implemented with people’s participation, he said.
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