School students in the vicinity, the worst-hit due to erratic parking of buses
TIRUCHI: Srirangam, a major pilgrimage centre in the city, needs more amenities, particularly a full-fledged bus stand for city buses. Though a large number of pilgrims and devotees visit the temple everyday, the absence of a bus-stand here has not only been causing inconvenience to the visiting pilgrims but also poses a hardship to the residents and road-users.
In the absence of a bus-stand, three bus-stops, all located in the vicinity of the ‘Rajagopuram,’ only add to the traffic chaos in the area. The bus-stop on the EVS Road is the only one, which had been officially notified. With the temple drawing huge crowds on important festivals, the problem of traffic management gets more aggravated on occasions such as ‘Ekadasi’ and on Saturdays. The other bus-stops are located on the Amma Mandapam Road and the Gandhi Road.
Residents complain that the haphazard parking of buses on EVS Road, at the bus-stop set up by the City Corporation with private partnership, has been a nightmarish experience for them. Although the buses are bound to be parked one behind the other, the drivers of private buses, in their bid to picking up more passengers, park the vehicles on the Amma Mandapam Road, causing chaos in the area. The problem was more acute during peak hours in the evening.
A resident of Srirangam, S. Rangarajan points out that no bus was permitted to enter Srirangam from Tiruvanaikovil. He attributed the congestion especially near the ‘Rajagopuram’ to the flouting of this rule by a few private bus operators. He suggested that the police department should deploy a constable at the junction of Devi Talkies to check the entry of buses to Srirangam from Tiruvanaikovil.
V. Ra. Vidhyasri, another resident, points out that the school pupils in the vicinity were the worst-hit due to this erratic parking of buses. The city-buses from Srirangam to the Junction are expected to follow a turn system. This rule was more flouted than practised, as a majority of drivers, after leaving the bus-stop, immediately park it on the Amma Mandapam Road. She says that strict action should be taken against the drivers found parking the buses on the Amma Mandapam Road. Even the bus-stop on the EVS Road was quite untidy, with many people using it for open defecation.
Another resident R. Sundararajan says that the stiff competition among the private bus operators in picking up passengers was the cause for the traffic chaos in Srirangam. The parking of mini-buses was another major hurdle.
Apart from these city-buses and mini-buses, the erratic parking of tourist vehicles and vans, add to the problem at Srirangam.
He suggests that a separate parking space should be earmarked for tourist buses and the district administration and police should further enforce traffic rules strictly.
A cross-section of auto-rickshaw drivers point out that the operation of buses by a few private colleges through Srirangam cripples traffic regulation, particularly during the peak hours in the evening.
Police sources say that maximum effort was being taken to regulate the traffic in Srirangam, utilising the available space.