Multilevel car park in Pondy Bazaar shut for a month, visitors resort to parking on streets again

The multilevel car park opened in March 2021, after a delay of nearly two years, and has the capacity to house around 250 cars and 500 two-wheelers at a time.
| Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

For nearly a month now, the multilevel car park (MLCP) in Pondy Bazaar on Sir Thyagaraya Road has not been functioning.

On Sunday, people took to parking their cars along the entrance of the MLCP on Singaravelu Street and Lakshmikanthan Street. With no one to regulate parking, two-wheelers had also been parked along the entire stretch of Lakshmikanthan Street and Sivaprakasam Street.

On Friday, the traffic police locked four cars that were parked near the entrance. But it did not deter visitors during the weekend. In the MLCP, the door to one of the three elevators had been removed since the lift needed repairs.

The MLCP opened in March 2021, after a delay of nearly two years. Even then, the facility did not take all the parking load off the streets. Initially, people were not aware of the facility, and the government did not promote it much either. Meanwhile, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) increased the parking fee periodically to encourage visitors to use the MLCP, which has the capacity to house around 250 cars and 500 two-wheelers at a time.

Currently, on-street parking for a car costs ₹60 per hour, but it is only ₹20 per hour at the MLCP. Similarly, on-street parking fee for a two-wheeler is ₹15 per hour, whereas it is ₹5 per hour at the MLCP. Since little effort was made to promote the MLCP, residents in the nearby areas suffered. A spacious junction near the GCC ward office at the Masilamani Street-Sivaprakasam Street junction has become a free parking space for cars. On weekends, the residents struggle even to walk on the stretch.

Enquiries revealed that since the management contract of the MLCP had expired, the GCC was planning to float a new tender. A local authority of Teynampet zone said: “In a review meeting held on Saturday (July 6), tendering out the operation and maintenance of the MLCP was discussed. The earlier contract ended last month, but a tender could not be floated owing to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) being in effect for the Lok Sabha election. The Revenue and Finance Department will soon float fresh tenders.” 

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