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Move to shift city bus bay draws traders' ire

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S. Sundar

An effort to upgrade Mattuthavani bus stand, says Corporation

MADURAI: The Corporation has proposed to shift the city bus bay from the front side in the Mattuthavani integrated bus stand to the main platforms where suburban and outstation buses are parked.

While the local body says that the move is to upgrade the bus stand for getting ISO quality certification, the traders' association has opposed the move, stating that the new move will cause inconvenience to passengers.

The president of Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand Traders' Association, Bala. Thamburaj, said the local body that had recently laid a new road on the city bus bay was planning to render it useless by creating a park there.

"The present system is smooth. Mixing city buses with long distance and outstation buses would create a confusion among passengers and also lead to congestion," Mr. Thamburaj said.

Taxi, auto stand to be shifted

The Superintending Engineer, K. Sakthivel, clarified that the entire portion of the present city bus bay would not be used for creating a park. "It will have some plants, lawn and fountains along with some shops for flower and fruit vendors. The same space will be used for taxi and auto stand," he said.

At any given point of time, at least 40 out of the 96 bus bays for outstation buses are vacant. The vacant bays can accommodate the city buses, which he said, will not be more than 20 at a time.

While a section of city bus drivers claimed that they could not negotiate their old vehicles that did not have power steering inside the bus bays, Mr. Sakthivel said the bays conformed to prevailing standards. "The transport authorities have cleared the design," he added.

The association has also raised suspicion over the "clandestine move" of the Corporation. "The issue was not discussed at the traffic advisory committee meeting held on July 28 in which ways to decongest traffic in the city and to integrate all buses with Mattuthavani bus stand were discussed," he said.

Even when the buses, now being operated from Palanganatham and Arapalayam bus stands, had to be shifted to Mattuthavani, the bus stand could be expanded to the 10-acre land adjacent to it.

The amenities in the bus stand would get upgraded for getting ISO certification, he added.

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