Buses to more important destinations being introduced from the temple town

Srirangam, a picturesque island formed by the bifurcation of the Cauvery, is described as a paradise on earth. When Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced her decision to contest from Srirangam constituency in the last Assembly elections, it created much hope not only among the residents of this island town, but also of the entire district.

The Chief Minister has not failed them and keeping with her campaign promises, Ms. Jayalalithaa announced a slew of projects and schemes for the town. The temple town, languishing for a long time despite being a heritage site, has come in for special attention and the implementation of various development works worth several crores of rupees has brought much delight to all sections of society. Significant among the programmes implemented is the introduction of bus services to various parts of not only Tamil Nadu, but also to cities such as Bangalore, Tirupati, and Tiruvananthapuram.

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) has introduced long distance buses to Rameswaram, Palani, Sriperumpudur, Srivilliputhur, Srimushnam, Madurai, Oppiliappankoil, Villupuram, Thanjavur, and Kumbakonam from Srirangam, and ago. The State Express Transport Corporation is operating services to Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruvananthapuram, and Tirupati. While for the destinations like Bangalore, Tiruvananthapuram, Tirupati, Rameswaram, Palani, Sriperumpudur, and Srivilliputhur, one service is being operated from Srirangam a day, for Chennai, Madurai, Srimushnam, Villupuram, Uppilappankovil, Kumbakonam, and so on two services are operated a day and for Thanjavur it is four services a day.

According to TNSTC sources, buses for more destinations are expected to be introduced in the near future and the people are happy that this town will become the third bus terminus in the city after the Central Bus Stand and the Chathiram Bus Stand.

Despite being the abode of Lord Sri Ranganatha, which attracts huge floating population from throughout the world round the year, it is a pity that the town does not have a bus stand. The buses leaving Srirangam and arriving here are parked some distance away from the Rajagopuram, thereby causing disturbance to the residents. The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation in the last year’s budget allocated Rs. 9 crore for the construction of a bus stand in Srirangam. The corporation is eyeing a site near Panchakarai on the Coleroon river bank, close to site where a yatri nivas is under construction at a cost of Rs. 36.40 crore, for setting up the bus stand. But a decision is still awaited. The yatri nivas will come up on an eight-acre land belonging to the Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Another major facility concerning transport department to come up in Srirangam is the construction of own building to house the Srirangam Regional Transport Office (RTO). Ever since the Srirangam RTO was established 12 years ago, it has been functioning in a rented building. The State government has already sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs.2 crore for construction of an own building. The department has identified sites belonging to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department at Kondayampettai and Y corner areas near Thiruvanaikoil for the project.

Presently, the Srirangam RTO has under its jurisdiction a unit office at Thuraiyur and would soon have under its control a new unit office at Musiri which has been sanctioned by the State government. The department has also decided to set up an office of the General Manager of the State Express Transport Corporation at Srirangam and this will enable in getting buses to more destinations apart from facilities like advance booking.

Another major complaint of the local residents as well as the devotees is the absence of parking lot for the tourist vehicles. The entire traffic system in the town gets choked with the haphazard parking of tourist vehicles on the road sides during the festival days.

Srirangam is literally bursting at the seams of late with numerous housing apartments and increase in the strength of vehicles.