Corporation operates bus from Kannagi Nagar

Chennai Corporation on Tuesday started a dedicated bus service for students resettled from Kannappar Thidal to Kannagi Nagar last month.

As many as 40 students will be able to use the bus to reach their school in the vicinity of Kannappar Thidal where they are enrolled. According to a senior official of Chennai Corporation, the expenses for hiring the bus has been borne by the Chennai Corporation . The students belong to the families that were evicted last month from the land near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to facilitate construction of additional tracks for Asian Athletics Championship.

More than 170 families were shifted from the area to Kannagi Nagar. The eviction was carried out by the civic body to hand over eight acre-plot of land to the Sports Development Authority of the State for creation of additional infrastructure for the Asian Athletics Championship. A Rs.40-crore package to renovate the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to re-lay its track and upgrade facilities to bring them on a par with international standards was approved last year. Last week, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that the State would not host the 20th Asian Athletics Championships as a mark of protest against participation of Sri Lanka in the event, citing news reports of war crimes by Sri Lanka.

As residents questioned the logic of the move in the middle of the academic year, the civic body made arrangements to help the students cope with the challenge of travelling 40 km for the rest of the academic year.

Residents of Kannagi Nagar, who were relocated earlier by other departments, stressed the need for similar initiatives. “Other departments should also arrange bus facilities to students who belong to resettled families. Many students develop an emotional bonding with schools. Such move may be helpful,” said Meenavan, a resident of Kannagi Nagar.

“I wanted to board the bus to reach school today. As the bus was only for Allikulam students, I was not permitted to board the bus,” said Ahmed, a student of standard VII in a school in Santhome. Many resettled students also claimed that they had to take two buses to reach school in areas such as Santhome.

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