V. Venkatasubramanian

KANCHEEPURAM: The launch of long-distance air-conditioned bus services from Chennai by the Kancheepuram unit of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Villupuram) Limited is viewed as a boon to the Kancheepuram unit, whose service area had been reduced to Kancheepuram district alone in the recent past.

Earlier, the TNSTC (Kancheepuram unit) had control over bus routes originating from Tiruvannamalai and Tiruvallur, which were later delinked and made as separate units. Extension of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation domain resulting in operation of MTC services from Chennai to destinations such as Sriperumbudur, Sunguvarchatram, Vallakottai, Chengalpattu and Mamallapuram in TNSTC, Kancheepuram unit domain, affected the income of the Kancheepuram unit, sources said.

Some Volvo air-conditioned buses were transferred from the MTC to the TNSTC's Kancheepuram unit in November last. The unit was allowed to operate new hi-tech buses between Kancheepuram and T. Nagar, which was the only AC bus that earned decent daily collection to the MTC.

Eight air-conditioned vehicles were operated between Chennai and Puducherry via East Coast Road (route no. 555), eight vehicles to Vellore from Chennai (route no. 502), four buses between Chennai and Villupuram (route no.551) and two between Chennai and Hosur (route no.544) from first week of February. While the fare from Chennai to Vellore with stoppages at Poonamallee, Vellaigate (near Kancheepuram) and Kaveripakkam has been fixed at Rs.145, it would be Rs.160 for travel between Chennai and Villupuram with halts at Tambaram, Melmaruvathur and Dindivanam.

It would cost Rs.170 to travel from Chennai to Puducherry with stoppages at Thiruvanmiyur, Mamallapuram, Sadras and Kadapakkam and Rs.320 to travel to Hosur.