‘Gandhipuram too decongested to take new bus stand'

Mayor S.M. Velusamy's budgetary announcement that the Corporation will initiate efforts to establish a new bus stand in Gandhipuram has been met with apprehension, at best.

The concern of the majority is that the proposed bus stand, spread over 9.03 acre and at present with the Prisons Department, will only add to the congestion, choke the city's growth and be the undoing of the investments made in this regard. The new bus stand-announcement is welcome but not the location, K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause, puts it succinctly.

A new bus stand integrating the existing bus stands in Gandhipuram should be in the city's periphery. Not in the heart of it.

Tracing the history of establishing bus stands in Coimbatore, he says that in 1993 the district administration established a bus stand in Ukkadam to serve buses from Pollachi, Palakkad, and towns in that direction.

Ten years later, it established the Singanallur to cater to buses from Tiruchi, Madurai and the southern parts of the State.

The two moves took off the vehicle pressure of Gandhipuram to a great extent. Not only that; it also triggered the growth of those areas.

As if undoing those is the Corporation's latest move, for it would add to the pressure the Gandhipuram roads face. “The city needs a Koyembedu kind of bus stand but that should not be in Parrys.”

Mr. Kathirmathiyon suggests that the Corporation should go ahead with the decision to build a bus stand there after consulting the city traffic police and the transport authorities, if not all stakeholders concerned.

For, the traffic police are the first to be on the roads in case of traffic congestion and they know the ground realities much more than anybody else.

The Corporation should take into consideration the city's growth in the next 10 – 20 years before deciding on establishing the bus stand in Gandhipuram, for the place finds it difficult to handle the current vehicle population and also the number of people who use the bus stands.

Neelambur

Ideal place for setting up the new bus stand will be somewhere near the Neelambur Bypass Road so that the outstation buses do not enter the city and that the Avanashi Road and Trichy Road are free of outstation buses to a large extent.

If the Corporation were to set up the bus stand at the place it has proposed, it might negate the benefits the Gandhipuram flyover is likely to bring, fears A. Nandhakumar, a Councillor.

A Corporation source suggests that the Corporation should use the prison ground to build a new Council Hall in a way that truly reflects the city, or a planetarium or an entertainment facility that will give a facelift to the city.

A Corporation resolution on the subject says that the 698 buses enter and exit the mofussil bus stand and 540 city buses enter and exit the town bus stand around 6,400 times.

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