While the proposal to construct a bus terminus at Kallikuppam stays on hold, passenger amenities at the Ambattur OT bus stand has also taken a beating
It was not a welcome sign for the commuters alighting at the Ambattur OT bus stand. They not only have to brave rain and shine, but also vie for space with assorted vehicles and bovines. The Ambattur OT has been the subject of several complaints over the last few years. Residents’ welfare organisations have repeatedly asked for provisions to make the wait at the terminus tolerable for commuters as only a small portion of the terminus has asbestos roofing. Though bus services have improved, passenger amenities have taken a beating here.
For the past 50 years, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has been operating their services from a small area adjacent to Chennai Thiruvallur High Road in Ambattur.
Over time, with increase in bus services, the area has become too small to accommodate both the buses and the passengers boarding it. Buses frequently stop on the adjacent roads to drop off commuters before entering the terminus, in order to avoid overcrowding within the terminus itself.
The space serves as entry and exit points for residents of Old MTH Road, North Park Street and Mounasamy Madam Street.
MTC operates a few services from here to destinations that include T. Nagar (147C) and Anna Square (40 and M40) and many services from Avadi and Poonamallee use this terminus space to pick up and drop commuters. R. Sivakumar, a regular commuter, says that many bus routes were diverted to Avadi due to space constraints. Routes 41-D, A47, 47-D to name a few, which were being operated from here, had to be extended to run from Avadi. One has to depend on share autos to reach places like Madhavaram, Perambur, Kolathur, Ennore, Manali and Thiruvotriyur, as bus services are still to match the requirement.
The proposal to construct a bus terminus at Kallikuppam near Ambattur is yet to take off, much to the misery of the commuters. Though the proposal began on a positive note, with an elaborate plan passed at the first meeting of the erstwhile Ambattur Municipality a few years ago, it only remains on paper. Residents of Kallikuppam recalled that a team comprising the municipal officials and then municipal chairman K. N. Sekar had inspected the 18-acre plot for construction of the terminus. Following that, however, there was not much headway.
“For the past few years, the people of Ambattur have been stressing about the relocation of this bus terminus to a bigger and exclusive enclosure like that of Vadapalani or Anna Nagar. Now, due to an exponential increase in bus users and with the area being used by private vehicles as well, it has become unsafe for the passengers boarding the buses as they are prone to accident. Presence of share autos, autos and hawkers also add to the confusion.
The shelter provided for passengers is too high and does not serve the purpose during the rainy season and summer. As the government will soon be widening the CTH Road, this area is bound to shrink leading to further chaos and traffic snarls,” says S. Suresh, General Secretary, Federation of Registered Residents Associations of Ambattur.
MTC sources said that better bus connectivity from Ambattur to other areas in the city and to far flung areas such as Poondi has been achieved. “Getting a wide space for setting up a new terminus would help decongest the existing one at Ambattur OT,” they added.