The tussle between Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Chennai Corporation on maintenance of bus shelters continues to put many commuters in trouble.
A majority of display boards at bus stands in the city are either smudged or advertisements are stuck on top of the panel that offers route information.
The difficulty experienced is more in the case of bus stands that are transit points for a vast number of routes and those that are less frequented. LIC bus stop, for instance, is a transit for over 12 bus routes. But the few stands which have a mention of the buses stopping by are either worn out or have small advertisements pasted on them. The lone digital board is not something which would catch attention of all passers-by.
“Just the other day, we missed the bus as we were waiting at a different stand. Further, we had to wait for 30 minutes as the bus route to Sriperumbudur is not very frequent,” said Rijo John, an engineering college student.
The situation is worse during non-rush hours as there are fewer people to guide and the frequency of buses also decreases. At the TVS bus stop, commuters such as G. Sujatha, who is new to the city, complained that the white vinyl board was coated with a layer of thick dust and smudged in parts, offering her little help even if she knew which bus goes to her destination.
When The Hindu contacted the MTC and Chennai Corporation, officials of either of them said it was the responsibility of the other to upkeep bus stands.
According to a senior official from MTC, Chennai has around 2,000 bus shelters, of which around 500 are maintained by MTC. “Advertisements on bus stands and panels are causing inconvenience to commuters. MTC has replaced many number boards with white vinyl boards to electronic boards,” said the official. He also added that digital boards are controlled through GPS and incorporating all bus shelters with the technology is difficult and costly.
Chennai Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said currently the Corporation maintains around 80 bus shelters, while the remaining are either maintained by MTC or areon litigation. All the bus stands on the highways are maintained by MTC, he said. “The Corporation wants to take all the bus shelters but because of the litigation we are not able to take it forward,” said Mr. Lakhoni.