Road Safety Committee meets again to discuss the issue

Even as the proposal to shift bus stops away from traffic signals at many places in Coimbatore city to ease traffic congestion mooted many a time by the District Road Safety-cum-Traffic Advisory Committee is gathering dust, the official machinery once again met to initiate the move all over again. The Committee is a district-level body with the heads of departments of Corporation, Highways, Transport, and consumer organisations being its members. It is learnt that in 2010, permission was granted to sponsors to erect shelters for bus passengers at a particular junction and there was no location-specific permission. Conveniently, the sponsors erected the shelters close to the junctions in order to gain more advertisement mileage.

In September 2010, the Road Safety Committee meeting pointed out that shelters should not be erected without specific approval relating to the location from the police and Regional Transport Office. So far, on three occasions, there had been suggestions, recommendations and even decisions to shift the bus stops that contribute to congestion, an official in the committee told The Hindu. On August 12, another meeting was conducted by the Corporation officials with the police on removal of bus stops notwithstanding an earlier approval by the District level committee on shifting of bus stops. For example, shifting of the North Coimbatore Bus stop order was issued on June 11, 2012 and Lawley Road Junction bus stop was issued much earlier on June 30, 2011.

In November 2011, a joint inspection was carried out by district officials, RTO and Highways Department and a report was presented for nearly 25 such bus stops located at wrong places but not even a single bus stop was shifted.

There are any numbers of bus stops located close to road junctions such as Thadagam Road – Milk Society and Lawley Road for buses proceeding to Vadavalli, Bharathiar Road-Women’s Polytechnic Junction, Ramanathapuram Junction close to Tiruchi Road, Singanallur Junction, Lakshmi Mills Junction, Ondipudur – Trichy road, Avanashi Road Krishnammal College, Ukkadam – Pollachi Road Aathupalam, Sundarapuram – Madukarai road, North Coimabtore and Podanur – G.D. Hospital.  After Corporation shifted bus stops as demanded by the Police, the Corporation should get approval for the exact spot from the traffic advisory committee, so that such problems could be avoided, member of the Committee and Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause K. Kathirmathiyon said.

In future, approval of the road safety committee and consultation with the police should be made compulsory before according permission to erect a shelter for bus passengers.

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