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MTC drivers refuse to park buses at Anna bus stand

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Serving no purpose: Barricades put up to prevent private vehicles from entering the Arignar Anna bus stand in Tambaram on Friday.
Serving no purpose: Barricades put up to prevent private vehicles from entering the Arignar Anna bus stand in Tambaram on Friday.

K. Manikandan

Commuters put to hardship as the vehicles are parked on GST Road

TAMBARAM: Commuters at Tambaram are put to severe hardship as Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses are unable to use the Municipal Bus Stand and the two shelters built for them.

On Friday, the Tambaram Municipality and local police tried to prevent private vehicles from entering the Municipality’s Arignar Anna Bus Stand. But the initiative failed as drivers of MTC buses refused to enter it, citing “oral instructions from their higher-ups.” Despite policemen and civic workers urging MTC crew to park their vehicles inside the bus stand, drivers continued to park the buses on Grand Southern Trunk Road, as earlier.

Until recently, private vehicles were parked inside the bus stand near one of the entrances of a restaurant throughout the day. As this has been the case for many years, neither the Tambaram Municipality nor the MTC took steps to ensure that buses were parked inside the Arignar Anna Bus Stand.

West Tambaram residents recalled that in the past, buses originating from this town to villages such as Ponmar, Vengaivasal, Keerapakkam, Agaram Then were parked here. The bus stand was complete with a Time Office and rest room for crew. Welcoming the move to prevent private vehicles from using the bus stand, residents said it should be a permanent arrangement and the MTC authorities should ensure that buses used the facility. A senior MTC official denied they had instructed crew not to use the facility. Two bus shelters were constructed adjacent to GST Road that were more convenient than Arignar Anna Bus Stand, they said.

But commuters pointed out that vehicles of visitors to commercial establishments occupied the entire space, making it impossible for MTC buses to enter the bus shelters.

“The Arignar Anna Bus Stand and the bus shelters on GST Road are meant only for MTC buses and at no cost should private vehicles be allowed inside them,” remarked Aanai Panneerselvam, convener of Makkal Maamandram, Tambaram.

L.R.Chezhian, an AIADMK Municipal councillor, suggested that a compound wall be built around the Arignar Anna Bus Stand, similar to the one at T. Nagar bus terminus.

Non-starter

The Tambaram Bus Terminus project, that could put an end to the problem, has been a non-starter.

The State Government has been waiting far too long for the Defence Ministry to hand over a portion of land in Civil Lines of Indian Air Force, West Tambaram for the project. With no sign of the project kicking off in the near future, the problems of traffic snarls near the bus stand and commuters waiting on the road would continue to be an integral part in Tambaram, the ‘southern gateway of Chennai,’ residents feared.

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