Encroachments. They are more prevalent in Ambattur. Be it waterbodies or plots, nothing gets spared by encroachers.
However, there is one thing that always gets overlooked- houses taking over pavements that are meant for pedestrians to walk.
When News Today took a stroll down the neighbourhood, the issue was found to be prevalent in almost all areas, apart from ones that have a good residents welfare association (RWA) that runs by a set of rules.
Reports have been made about illegal parking in the neighbourhood, mostly in the Industrial Estate (IE) area. However, in the neighbouring localities, it is the residents who encroach road and platform space.
At most places, residents had taken over platforms to build ramps that would make it ease for them to move their vehicles about. Asked about this, Gunasekar, a resident said, “We are not taking a huge space. We just constructed the ramp so that it will be easy for us to take our vehicles out. So far we have not got any problems regarding this.”
Similarly, Dhanam, a resident of Ambattur was asked the same question, having seen her house take over platforms for personal reasons. She replied, “It is not such a crowded area. I do not live in the main road and pedestrians hardly use the pavement to walk. I just use the space in front of my house. What is the big deal about it? It is not like I am encroaching the road like many do.”
Alarming was the fact that residents do not seem to mind committing a mistake no matter how big or small it is. Small shopkeepers are not different either, with people taking up platform spaces to spread out their inventory. Street vendors like cloth pressers take up their ‘righful’ place at every street in the neighbourhood.
Another problem is illegal parking by residents, which was summed up well by Karthik, who works at the Industrial Estate as an electrician.
“People who come to work here are forced to park their vehicles outside because they are not provided adequate parking facilities. They do not have a choice. The cops must address this. However, residents know very well they need to keep parking space at their houses and yet many fail to do so in the pursuit of ‘utilising’ their real estate to the max. They park their vehicles on the road for ages and pedestrians have to walk on the road because the platforms are no good either. They are either encroached or do not cover the sewage that runs beneath.”
The matter of parking spaces has been much debated about. But with Ambattur becoming more crowded, with every new family bringing in at least one vehicle with them, residents said a solution must be found.
“Some make use of their vacant plots by renting them out to car owners, who also welcome it for their vehicle will be kept safe. The government can make use of barren lands to build multi-storey car parks and charge a
nominal fee from residents. It will be a big money churner as well. But it is for the authorities to decide,” said Dinesh, a student, who lives at Thirumullaivoyal.