Like the popular "Big Bus" in London, a Chennai-based transport company is all set to introduce a "hop-on hop-off" bus facility covering the tourist spots within Chennai.

According to A. Afzal, Managing Director of Parveen Travels, which has won the Nation Tourism Award for 2005-06, the new tourist attraction bus would cover important landmarks in Chennai covering Music Academy, Ashtalakshmi Temple in Besant Nagar, Kalakshetra, the Birla Planetarium and the Fort St. George.

"To help tourists have a glimpse of Chennai city, the company will initially operate three 35-seater air-conditioned buses. The itinerary ensures that a bus reaches these locations every hour", Mr.Afzal said. The company would soon introduce online booking for this facility (through the company's website: .

Parveen Travels plans to tie up with major travel agents to sell the bus tickets (cost between Rs.250 and Rs.500 and valid for six months from the date of purchase). However, the ticket is valid for 24 hours from the time of boarding the bus.

"We plan to operate wide-bodied glass-topped buses for the benefit of the tourists to have a clear view of the attractions", Mr. Afzal added.

Mr.Afzal, who received the National Tourism Award from Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni, along with the company Director, A. Aarif, said the transport company having base all over south India, has been bagging the covetous award consecutively for four years from 2002.

T. S. Shankar