The Chennai Corporation on Wednesday started removing illegal bus shelters that had cropped up along the city’s bus routes in recent months.
The work that commenced in all the zones followed an instruction given by the Corporation commissioner a few weeks ago to ensure the completion of the drive.
The operation gained significance after some officials and councillors were found promoting illegal bus shelters.
“We installed five shelters to help residents cope with the monsoon and summer. But the officials removed those bus shelters on Second Avenue and the 100 ft road without informing us. The officials should install modern bus shelters as soon as possible,” said Ku. Barani, councillor of ward 99 in Thirumangalam.
However, officials at the zonal level said the shelters were causing a loss of revenue. Many of the councillors were collecting Rs. 5,000 per bus shelter every month from advertisers, an official said.
“We will fix a board after removing such illegal shelters, warning councillors of criminal action. We have spared those shelters mired in legal wrangles as they can be removed only after a court order is passed,” said a zonal official.
All illegal bus shelters, estimated at over 200, are expected to be removed by Friday.
“They removed three bus shelters in Chintadripet. We have to request Corporation officials to commission modern bus shelters before the monsoon. Commuters should not suffer,” said Ali Khan Basheer, councillor of ward 63.
The Corporation had planned to commission modern bus shelters and entirely foot the bill for the facilities after deciding to shelve the public private partnership (PPP) mode. As part of its proposal to install 500 of the stainless steel shelters, the civic body had invited bids for their construction across the city.
After the civic body finds a solution to legal wrangles, the proposal for construction of modern bus shelters in more than 1, 000 bus stops under the second phase will be taken up.