The shelters will be put up at Lifeline Hospital's expense, and is not a corporate social responsibility initiative

With legal wrangles having delayed the construction of bus shelters in the city and commuters continuing to sweat it out, private entities — including hospitals — have decided to step in.

Representatives of Frontier Lifeline Hospital met with Chennai Corporation officials on Friday for permission to improve bus shelters near their premises.

Sanjay Cherian, vice president of the hospital, said they had proposed to take care of two nearby bus shelters. “We wanted to try and improve the look of the place. Most of the shelters are unauthorised and badly maintained. Our effort will make the place cleaner,” he said.

The shelters will be put up at the hospital’s expense, and is not a corporate social responsibility initiative, he added.

“We are not looking at advertising our name and phone number. Instead, we will put up pictures of the heart and provide tips on what to do during a heart attack. We want to use it as a medium to create awareness,” Dr. Cherian added.

The hospital is also planning to take this initiative forward at a centre coming up in Gummidipoondi.

A Corporation proposal to build uniformly-designed modern bus shelter at 1,084 bus shelters through public-private partnerships has run into legal problems, a Corporation official said. Only around 10 per cent of the proposed shelters have been built so far. Commuters say, that weary of waiting for the Corporation, they have now taken to asking their MLAs to step in, and use funds from the local area development scheme to build shelters.

Several bus stops along CTH Road, Red Hills Road, Inner Ring Road, Tirumangalam Main Road, Valluvar Kottam High Road, Haddows Road, College Road, Cathedral Road and NSK Salai have already been identified by MLAs for construction of modern stainless steel bus shelters this year.

However, these funds are not enough to improve the dozens of shelters in poor condition across the city, an official said.

In order to deal with the problem, the civic body has now decided to examine other similar proposals from private entities, and assess them based on commuting challenges unique to each locality.

There are over 2,000 bus shelters in the city run by Metropolitan Transport Corporation, while Chennai Corporation runs only around 1,150 authorised bus shelters.

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