Nearly six months after the creation of bus shelters along with bus bays at a cost of Rs. 24 lakh at Kamarajapuram near Tambaram, the State Highways department is yet to execute the simple task of providing a bitumen-topped surface.
After removal of encroachments on land belonging to Highways Department in June this year, Sembakkam Municipal administration had created bus bays and shelters at Kamarajapuram bus stop on both directions — towards Tambaram and Medavakkam.
A sum of Rs. 24 lakh from the constituency development fund of T.K.M. Chinnayya, Animal Husbandry Minister and Tambaram MLA, was spent for the purpose. Elected representatives of the municipality said that a few lorry-loads of gravel were dumped and levelled soon after the road widening and dedication of the bus shelters. However, the only remaining task of providing a smooth bitumen-topped surface has been pending since June.
The sharp and protruding stones cause acute discomfort to commuters, including students who often do not use footwear. Due to the extremely rough surface, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses halt on the main carriageway, defeating the purpose of the bus bays.
During rush hour in the morning, bus drivers take their vehicles into the bay only if senior staff are present at Kamarajapuram to regulate the movement of buses. “If buses halt on the main road, we have to walk over the sharp stones. When buses enter the bus bay, they kick up a storm of dust. Either way, it is a problem for us,” said S. Senthil, an employee in a shop in the municipal commercial complex near the bus stop.
Officials of Highways department said that civil works, as part of a long-term plan to convert Velachery Main Road into a six-lane highway had begun. Around Kamarajapuram, they had just started work on creating stormwater drains. The work around Kamarajapuram would be completed in 3 months. They said they would look into the specific complaint of lack of a proper surface at the bus bay.