Civic body awaits green signal from government for integrated bus stand

Even as Tiruchirapalli City Corporation is yet to identify a site for establishing an integrated bus stand in the city, the town bus terminus at the central bus stand has been literally bursting at its seams for want of adequate space and amenities.

The town bus terminus, which had been functioning at the first platform of the bus stand till 2008, was shifted outside the bus stand to create more space for mofussil buses.

With over 2,200 bus services operating out of it every day, the 4.5-acre bus stand is cramped for space. Additional space and bus bays were created in 2008 after the corporation acquired about 1.6 hectares of adjoining railway land.

But the additional bus bays were earmarked for mofussil buses and the town bus terminus was shifted out of the bus stand where a string of new bus shelters was erected, by blocking one carriageway of the road.

Narrow space

The narrow space is hardly adequate for the hundreds of town buses operating out of the terminus.

Though the town buses are supposed to halt one behind the other, the convergence of several buses operating on the same route, especially on the central bus stand-Chathram bus stand and the central bus stand-Srirangam routes, creates frequent traffic snarls and massive holdups at the terminus almost right through the day.

Very often buses parked side-by-side leave hardly any space for buses to exit the terminus, much to the hardship of commuters.

Chaotic scenes

With bus crew vying with each other to attract passengers, chaotic scenes are witnessed at the terminus every day.

While regular commuters run around to board buses, visitors to the city are left baffled at the disorder. The situation turns worse in peak hours and at night with a large number of buses queuing up.

“It is total chaos. There is hardly any space for the buses to manoeuvre and commuters are dangerously running around to board the buses. It is a pathetic situation that too in a city that boasts of having excellent road and rail connectivity,” says Sainath from Coimbatore, who was on a visit to the city recently.

Poor condition

The bus shelters are in a poor condition.

Some of the seats have vanished, apparently removed by vandals.

The shelters are often occupied by vendors and a few are also used as parking space by shopkeepers and visitors to the shops behind the shelters.

A permanent solution to the problem, many feel, would be the establishment of an integrated bus stand. But that seems a far cry as the civic body is still awaiting a green signal from the government.