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Plan to boost revenue or bid to shift bus stand?

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SCOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT: In the absence of covered waiting area, commuters at the Kancheepuram mofussil bus stand are forced to wait in the open.
SCOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT: In the absence of covered waiting area, commuters at the Kancheepuram mofussil bus stand are forced to wait in the open.

V. Venkatasubramanian

A group of councillors doubt motive behind resolution passed by Kancheepuram Municipality Council

Space abutting compound wall used as ‘open toilet’

Proposal to construct small shops along the wall

KANCHEEPURAM: A resolution passed at the recent Kancheepuram Municipal Council meeting to construct additional shops at mofussil bus stand is believed to be a move adopted by a powerful lobby of politicians aimed at shifting the terminus outside the town.

The resolution, claimed to have been proposed by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman as well as by all the Councillors, said that the open space abutting the compound wall of the bus stand was being used as ‘open toilet’ and hence commuters were not able to pass through or stand at those places to board or alight from the vehicles. An estimated 300 bus trips, including long distance and services to nearby urban centres, are operated from the stand daily.

It would be better to construct small shops abutting the wall so that the space could be put to better use. Apart from preventing the place from being used as ‘open urinal,’ the move would help in augmenting the income of the civic body, the resolution said.

According to a group of councillors who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, though the resolution gave an impression that the proposal was mooted to improve the income of the civic body, it was not the actual purpose. . Several shopkeepers who have taken the existing shops on lease or rent are not prompt in paying the lease amount or rent to the civic body. Further, they have extended their shops by taking over the pavement space in front of the establishments, forcing the commuters to walk on the carriageway. Moving of such a resolution at a time when a power struggle between two groups of councillors is on in the civic body has led to doubts in the mind of elected representatives, who would like to adopt a neutral stand. Creation of such assets that could easily turn into a ‘non-performing asset’ might help the powerful lobby achieve its goal to shift at least a portion of the bus terminus outside the town citing ‘poor income from investment’ and as well as space constraint, they said.

Except for the area in front of Municipal Lodge, there is little waiting space for commuters. Further, double line parking of State Transport Corporation buses bound for Chennai near the Siva temple, on the western side of the terminus, hinder movement of other vehicles.

The councillors said that instead of converting the open space available on the northern side of the bus stand, bus-bays with shelter could be constructed. This would help commuters, especially those waiting to board mini-buses that presently are being parked abutting northern side compound wall.

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