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What makes MTC buses keep it at bay?

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GOING ABEGGING: The bus bay at the Tambaram railway station.
GOING ABEGGING: The bus bay at the Tambaram railway station.

K. Manikandan

Tambaram railway station bus bay remains unused; parking on GST Road adds to woes

If the bus bay was properly used, traffic snarls could be lessened, say traffic police

TAMBARAM: The bus bay constructed inside the Tambaram railway station and meant exclusively for use by buses of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation have been remaining unused for several months. Senior MTC officials said they were unable to use the facility as Southern Railway had objected to it.

But Southern Railway officials denied that the bay could not be used as work on the road overbridge to replace the level crossing near the Tambaram railway station was on. The bus bay was created about two years ago simultaneously with the modernisation of Tambaram railway station, which included improving amenities, construction of new buildings to accommodate additional ticket counters and computerised reservation facilities.

The purpose of the bus bay was to help commuters getting out of suburban and long-distance express trains board MTC buses easily. It was operational only for some months initially but for long has remained mostly unused. As a result, MTC buses passing through Tambaram and heading towards Chengalpattu and those originating from this town to dozens of villages around it are parked on the service lane of the GST Road to pick up waiting passengers.

If the bus bay was properly used, traffic snarls could be lessened, especially during the morning and evening rush hours, traffic police said. With problems becoming more acute in the past one week owing to regulations due to the bridge construction work, the bus bay had to be made operational temporarily until normalcy was restored even if not as a permanent measure, they said.

A senior official at MTC headquarters said their fleet of buses were using a similar facility in Chennai Central railway station, but were unable to use it in Tambaram owing to objections raised by Southern Railway. However, railway officials said they had no objections from their side as operating buses in the bay would be immense benefit to train commuters.

The State Highways Department was constructing a road over bridge resulting in the generation of a large quantity of rubble and hence the operation of the buses would only add to problems. Pointing out to the pillars that were constructed, officials of the Highways Department said that once slab decks were put in place, buses would not be able to move out of the existing point from the bus bay.

Commuters said that until the bridge work was completed, the bus bay could be made operational in order to ease traffic congestion on GST Road outside the railway station.

However, unauthorised structures along the boundary wall separating the railway station and GST Road made it difficult for city and mofussil buses to manouevre easily, resulting in a cyclical chain of problems till the Gandhi Road intersection.

Agreeing, traffic policemen said if MTC buses used the bus bay inside the railway station, long-distance buses, at present halting on the carriageway, could use the service lane of GST Road and this would immensely relieve congestion.

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