CM expected to make announcement after high level meet

Public expectations are running high over an anticipated government announcement with respect to the establishment of an integrated bus stand for the city, especially in the wake of the high-level meeting convened by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to discuss the matter earlier this month.

The meeting has triggered expectations over an announcement from the government soon on the establishment of the bus stand .

The proposal to establish an integrated bus terminus in the city was initially mooted in the early 1990s but it has turned a vexed issue with consensus eluding the choice of a suitable location for the facility.

A spacious bus stand for the rapidly expanding city has been a felt need as the Central Bus Stand is cramped for space.

The idea of the integrated bus stand emerged after the Tiruchi Corporation shelved a plan to set up a satellite bus stand close to the Karur Highway, owing to prohibitive land cost, in the 1990s. Since then, various sites have been considered at Devadhanam off the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road, the Ariyamangalam compost yard, Ramji Nagar on the Tiruchi-Dindigul National Highway, and Kottapattu on the Pudukottai National Highway.

Of these, the 86 acre-land identified for the purpose at Devadhanam along the Tiruchi-Chennai By-pass Road during the previous AIADMK regime was rejected on the grounds that it was too close to the Cauvery River. The previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government had planned to set up the bus stand at Panchapur.

However, the present government has taken a fresh look at the issue. Though district officials are tight-lipped over the matter, a site at Kottapattu is said to be under consideration.

“The issue has been hanging fire for the past one-a-half decade. It has been two decades since the City became a Corporation but still an integrated bus stand has not been established in the city,” rues H.Ghouse Baig, secretary, Golden Rock branch of the Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu.

A section of civic activists wants the government to get the Mannarpuram Defence lands for setting up the bus stand.

“People have been seeking the bus stand since 1998 and many favour the Mannarpuram site,” says N.Ramakrishnan, coordinator, Welfare Organisations of Tiruchi.

Mr.Ghouse Baig also contended that the Kottapattu site will not be an ideal location given its proximity to the Central Prison and Airport. The Chief Minister should use her good offices to get the 200 acres of Defence land at Mannarpuram.