On Friday, the Madras High Court ordered authorities to shut down all restaurants and hotels in the city of Chennai that are functioning without adequate parking facilities. After passing the order on a PIL filed, the court posted the matter for further hearing on March 24th and informed authorities to submit progress reports three days before the hearing.
In most cities in the country, parking outside of restaurants and hotels has always been an issue. A problem that cannot be magically fixed by issuing an order. Often even with parking spaces, there are too many vehicles that need to be parked because of the influx of customers.
“We make it clear that if there are no adequate parking spaces available, authorities shall forthwith shut down the restaurants/eateries and only when they provide parking space, would they be entitled to function,” the bench said regarding the order.
In an earlier report filed by authorities, it was revealed that hotels had not compiled with an earlier directive to identify vacant parking spaces in the vicinity and also introducing valet parking system. While perusing the report, the bench also said, “It shows that the restaurants and hotels are taking everyone for a ride, either there is no parking facility whether by valet parking or otherwise, or the spaces are inadequate.”
The notices have been issued under Section 279 of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act of 1919 and the bench added, “replies are stated to have been submitted which are under consideration and the zonal officer of the corporation will pass suitable orders.”
What kind of problems this spells for restaurants in the city are still unknown, but till March 24th, restaurants and hotels have the chance to hopefully rectify this before they get shut down.