Chathram Bus Stand remains without proper amenities

Though it has been in existence for over a couple of decades, the mofussil bus terminus at the Chathram Bus Stand in the city is yet to get bus shelters, exposing commuters to rain and shine.

Although the City Corporation has recently executed various development works at the town bus terminus of the bus stand, the mofussil terminus continue to remain neglected.

A large number of buses operating on Thuraiyur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Jayamkondam, Musiri, Thathaiyengarpet, Kattuputhur and other destinations operate from the terminus. Located in a bustling place surrounded by educational institutions and business establishments, the Chathram bus stand is being used by thousands of commuters, especially school and college students, everyday.

“It is an everyday ordeal for us. Be it sun or rain, we stand exposed and commuters have no place to take shelter,” complains Jayashree, a college student, who commutes to her college on the Chennai highway from the terminus everyday.

With a slew of hotels, commercial establishments and a theatre complex in the vicinity, commuters have to jostle for space with vendors, visitors to the establishments and vehicles parked on the roadsides. There is no clear marking of the bus halts either. While some of the buses halt on the roadside along the Mayas Hotel, some others operate from the open space around the Kamarajar statue. The terminus also lacks in other amenities such as toilets and drinking water supply and commuters have to depend on the facilities available at the town bus terminus.

The Chathram bus stand was officially recognised only in 2005. Even though it was recognised as a ‘D' grade bus stand, it had not seen much development, except for the roof and other amenities provided recently by the corporation. But the corporation has turned a blind eye to the woes of commuters using the mofussil terminus all these years. “It is appalling that none of the government agencies has so far cared to study the problem for over 25 years now. We have been representing the matter to the authorities for years now,” says N.Ramakrishnan, convenor, Federation of Welfare Organisations.

Mr.Ramakrishnan says that the Tiruchi Corporation has recently responded to his representation stating that the problem would be overcome once the proposed integrated bus stand was established in the city. Taking strong objection to this, Mr.Ramakrishnan terms the corporation reply as nothing but an attempt to “deceive the city residents”. There could be no correlation between the establishment of an integrated bus stand, which could take years to be set up, and providing bus shelters at the mofussil terminus at the Chathram Bus Stand, he says, calling for the intervention of the Tiruchi MP P.Kumar to sanction funds for meeting the basic needs of commuters using the terminus.