Several cars and autorickshaws were seen parked on the bridge and the dust on the cars suggested that they were parked at the spot for months.
Namasivayapuram bridge is one of the important bridges across Cooum river, which connects Harrington Road in Chetpet and Nelson Manickam Road in Choolaimedu.
Rajkumar, a resident of Kodambakkam who uses the bridge to commute to his office, said that autorickshaws and rental cars have completely encroached the bridge. “During night hours, riders find it difficulty and face threats, as the bridge would remain dark. Sometimes, drivers park their vehicles in a haphazard manner,” he added.
When DT Next visited the spot, several cars and autorickshaws were seen parked on the bridge. Dust over some cars suggested that they were parked at the spot for months.
“The unauthorised parking not only reduce the width of the road but also deprive pedestrians of space to walk. Due to this, we are forced to walk on the road, daring the speeding vehicles,” said M Saraswathi, a pedestrian.
Apart from creating a nuisance to the riders and pedestrians, the unauthorised parking also creates sanitation issue in the locality, as many in the locality use the pavement on the bridge to urinate.
“We cannot walk on the bridge without covering our noses. Cars parked on the bridge provides ‘private’ space for them. No one would urinate on the bridge if the authorities remove vehicles from the bridge,” Saraswathi said.
Also, the centre median on the bridge is damaged and cement blocks are placed in an improper manner.
“For several months, the cement blocks are kept in the middle of the road. Only when we point out the issue, the officials would rectify it. However, the blocks would again relocate, posing threats to the motorists,” Rajkumar said.
When asked, a Chennai Corporation official said that they are removing abandoned vehicles to free the roads. The vehicles are being seized and sold off if the owners failed to come forward to claim them, he added. “We would take measures to remove vehicles from the bridge,” the official assured. “We have also decided to implement the parking management system. Once the system is implemented, unauthorised parking would be banned across the city,” added the official.