There are no toilets; parched passengers forced to buy water
The Chathiram bus stand, founded in 1979, does not cater to the needs of the commuters. It is more of a road taken over by buses devoid of any amenities both for the crew and the passengers.
The central bus stand and the Chathiram bus stand, due to Tiruchi’s strategic location in the heart of the State, are busy look round-the-clock throughout the year. During the holidays and festival seasons, they are bursting at the seems.
Any stranger to the area is bound to be shocked over the poor amenities at the Chathiram bus stand and the risk and lack of road safety in the vicinity. Encroachments by vendors on the bus bays, passengers standing on the road, and city service buses honking continuously make up a typical day at the bus stand.
Although the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has been providing some amenities from time to time, a lot more needs to be done to make it worth of a bus stand which was officially recognised only in 2005.
For instance, the corporation had constructed shelters for parking of buses proceeding to Samayapuram, Lalgudi, and Nochiyam. But these shelters do not have seats. Taking advantage of the lack of patronage for the bus shelters, a number of hawkers and pavement vendors encroach close to the buses, posing a nuisance to passengers alighting from or boarding buses. Even as the area is crying for space for operation of city buses, inter-city buses are operated from here. Buses bound for Karur, Coimbatore, and Thuraiyur are operated from the western side while those for Cuddalore, Neyveli, Ariyalur, and Perambalur halt on its northern side. Obviously traffic congestion, noise, and environmental pollution are a few major issues confronting the members of the public.
Another major problem faced here is lack of basic amenities. There are no toilets. Men empty their bladder in the open. Situated on the banks of the Cauvery, the bus stand, ironically, does not have drinking water facility.
Construction of more toilets and provision of potable water in important points will immensely benefit the people of surrounding villages who arrive here for their routine works, says S. Kumaran, a college student hailing from Somarasampettai.
Single entry point for a number of city buses from various destinations such as Samayapuram, Lalgudi, Mannachanallur, often results in chaos, says V. Sivalingam, a tailor at the Chathiram bus stand. The problem is pronounced during peak hours. The entry point here should be widened so as to avoid traffic snarls.
“A large number of buses are seen in a quagmire up to the Anna statue in Chinthamani area,” he says explaining the impact of traffic congestion.
S. Amaravathy, another resident, points out that stagnation of water during monsoon has been another problem. The corporation should evolve and implement a plan for cleaning the drains in the area, she says.