Demands are pouring in from residents of north and west Chennai for small buses in more routes in their localities.
As of now, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is operating 50 small buses in 20 routes mainly covering the southern suburbs and some parts of the city. Residents of several areas that are poorly connected want the small buses to fill in the gaps.
In the western suburbs, mini buses are being operated from Murugappa polytechnic to Ambattur OT. But residents of Vijayalakshmipuram, Oragadam, Pudur, Surapet and Redhills want the buses to be operated from Railway gate LC 06 at Ambattur Railway station to Red Hills via Vijayalakshmipuram, Pudur and Surapet.
T. Gunaseelan, a resident of Ambattur, said that senior citizens who travel by train are forced to pay exorbitant rates to get there by autorickshaw. Some years ago, bus services (15A) was operated from Ambattur Oragadam to Nungambakkam railway station, connecting Ambattur railway station. The service was later suspended.
Residents complained that the north and western parts of the city have been allotted few routes. G. Abyvarghese, president of Senthil Nagar Youth and Residents’ Welfare Association, said that the bus route between Madhavaram and Retteri can be extended up to Senthil Nagar on Inner Ring Road or up to Villivakkam bus stand through Villivakkam- Red Hills Road touching many interior areas of Kolathur. “Only small buses can gain entry in the narrow roads here,” he said.
Similarly, residents also want small buses to connect Retteri with Ambattur linking many interior areas such as Vinayagapuram, Lakshmipuram and Madhanangkuppam that do not have any bus facility.
“As of now, we have only a few bus services to take us to areas such as Mint, Egmore and Parrys Corner. Small bus services can be introduced to act as feeder services till Tiruvottiyur which has good bus connectivity,” said M. Dakshinamoorthy, resident of Manali New Town.
Donald Alberson, a resident of Ennore, said small bus services linking Tondiarpet and Wimco via Korukkupet, Kodungaiyur, Manali road and Jothi Nagar will be of use.
Meanwhile, MTC officials said that in first phase, many localities were left out. “But we will include them in the next phase,” said an MTC official. “We are studying the routes for the next phase. Residents can give us representations.”
(with inputs from K. Lakshmi, Vivek Naryanan and Serena Josephine M.)