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Chathram bus stand remains overcrowded and disorderly City pulse

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CRAMPED: Boarding buses at Chathram bus stand is anathema to passengers.
CRAMPED: Boarding buses at Chathram bus stand is anathema to passengers.

R. Rajaram

Absence of adequate bus shelters, amenities has increased woes of passengers

TIRUCHI: It’s noon time and a speeding town bus honking continuously from a distance overtakes another to make a screeching halt on the main road near the Chathram bus stand.

Passengers waiting on the road side under the scorching heat, devoid of a shelter, and those taking ‘refuge’ in the nearby shops make a dangerous dash towards the bus, which offloads passengers on the road side.

An all too familiar scene near the satellite bus stand in the city, from where several moffusil and town buses operate.

An ever bustling place surrounded by commercial complexes, business establishments, roadside eateries and fruit vendors, the Chathram bus stand and its vicinity presents a picture of disorderliness today struggling to cope with the ever increasing movement of travelling public and vehicles.

Though a major terminal, the stand still does not have space for mofussil buses operating on the Thuraiyur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Jayamkondam, Cuddalore, Neyveli and Chidambaram routes from the City. All these buses now halt on the roadsides near the Ramba Theatre complex.

The same is the case while on arrival when these buses stop on the road side to offload passengers.

The absence of adequate bus shelters, especially in the halts from where the mofussil buses and some city buses leave, exposes the passengers to the killing heat during summer. The problem is accentuated during monsoon season when they have to scurry in search of shelter. The worst affected are the aged who have to tread carefully on the road towards the bus stand amidst speeding vehicles.

If this is so outside, the scene is not all that encouraging inside the bus stand. Hawkers occupy most of the space in the bus shelters depriving much needed space for passengers.

With no seating facility anywhere the passengers are forced to stand. Here again the aged are the worst hit. A portion of the road inside the bus stand has developed huge cracks making it a bumpy ride for the town buses while leaving the terminal.

Though serving several thousands of passengers every day the bus stand does not even have a provision for drinking water facility anywhere inside, say residents.

The couple of toilets inside the bus stand do not appear to serve the purpose for many arriving by the moffusil buses. The roadsides serve as open urinal for the public.

The bus stand and the areas nearby present a picture of utter pell-mell with buses halting at will, points out M. Sekaran, convener, Federation of Service Organisations. Parking of autos, two-wheelers on the roadside and road-side vendors make it difficult for the passengers besides causing traffic hold ups near the bus stand.

A brief spell of shower causes water logging near the bus stand, say the residents.

The bus stand is a perfect example of lack of planning and disorderliness, says a teacher of a college.

It is time the authorities understand the gravity of the situation and embark on a systematic approach and streamline the current state of affairs.

Encroachments in and around the bus stand should also be removed. A proper plan to develop the bus stand, on the lines of the Central Bus stand expansion project, should be drawn up to improve the condition, says Srinivasan, a resident.

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