Damaged cement floor, piles of garbage, and puddles of waste-water greet commuters

It can never rise up to the stature of a district headquarters and the bus stand is an eyesore, is the common refrain heard in the town. Notwithstanding this scepticism, the official machinery has taken steps to give the municipal bus stand a facelift.

Representatives of farmers’ associations highlighted the condition of the bus stand at the recent farmers’ grievance day meeting.

Just a single pay-and-use toilet block serves hundreds of commuters visiting the bus stand. In the absence of benches, senior citizens have to squat on the floor.

Nothing is in order in Ariyalur bus stand, says T. Thandapani, assistant secretary of the Ariyalur district unit of the Communist Party of India.

The bus stand is not properly maintained; mounds of garbage and the stinking drain pose a health hazard. The traders running tea stalls and petty shops litter the place and let out the wastewater in the bays.

The municipal officials have turned a blind eye to this menace, he alleges. There is no cloak room and the concrete surface is damaged, causing hardship to the bus crew and commuters.

More than anything else, the encroachments by local traders are a major problem for the public and authorities, says Mr. Thandapani.

The municipality should launch steps on a war-footing for the removal of all encroachments to provide adequate space for the waiting commuters to move around. Officials should ensure that the encroachments do not resurface, says T. Raman, a local businessman.

Responding to the grievance, District Collector E. Saravanavelraj said two toilet blocks for men and women, comprising 10 toilets each, would be built in the bus stand shortly. Each block would come up at an expenditure of Rs. 14 lakh.

Cement slabs would be put up for benches, the Collector said. The high-mast lamp at the bus stand, which had not been functioning for the last few months because of load shedding has been now reactivated, thanks to the initiative taken by the Collector.