Modernisation of bus shelters in the city is under way but the lack of interest among the private bidders for construction of bus shelters in north Chennai continues to be a cause of concern for the authorities.
The civic body started the project last year and the first phase of work to modernise 99 bus shelters, on a build-operate-and-transfer basis, was entrusted to Mumbai-based firm.
Foundation for many of the bus shelters has been completed and 25 shelters are likely to be ready this week. The work on the remaining bus shelters would be completed in stages. The 25 bus shelters to be installed this week include those in Anna Nagar 12th Main Road, Blue Star, Chinthamani, College Road Meteorological Department, Music College Greenways Road, MRC Nagar and AMS Hospital Dr.Durgabai Deshmukh Road.
There are cases of local residents and shop-keepers opposing the installation of bus shelters in localities such as Sanskrit College, Mylapore Tank and Anna Nagar Roundabout. The civic body would install the bus shelters only after their concerns are addressed.
The Corporation has 741 bus shelters, including 377 that were handed over by Metropolitan Transport Corporation. Apart from the 99 bus shelters, tenders were called for 642 bus shelters in six packages but the civic body was unable to get bidders.
There were no bidders for one of the six packages that included 57 bus shelters in Tondiarpet. The civic body had included Tondiarpet and Nungambakkam zone in the package. As the packages were designed in such a way that north Chennai zones were clubbed with south Chennai zones, bidders were reluctant to participate, said officials.
The civic body is now planning to package zones in south Chennai separately and construct bus shelters on its own in areas such as Tondiarpet. Bus shelters in the southern parts of the city have many takers.
The bidding firm would be allowed to let out 180 sq. ft. for advertisements in each of the shelters. It is required to pay a fee to the Corporation every year. From the second year, the company would be required to pay an additional five per cent of its revenue from the shelters.
The bus shelters would be handed over to the civic body after the contract period of 10 years.
The civic body is waiting for Supreme Court verdict to include the 500 bus shelters controlled by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation in the packages, which would make them more attractive for bidders. This may speed up the installation of the redesigned bus shelters, officials said.