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When buses stop, everyone stops

Syed Muthahar Saqaf
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TVS Toll Gate presents a picture of chaos, thanks to the bus stop

JOSTLING FOR SPACE:Passengers have a horrid time boarding the buses at TVS Toll Gate stop in Tiruchi.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN
JOSTLING FOR SPACE:Passengers have a horrid time boarding the buses at TVS Toll Gate stop in Tiruchi.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN

The construction of a flyover and service roads at the TVS Tollgate Junction as part of the four-lane project by the National Highway Authority of India was expected to ensure free flow of traffic at this busy intersection.

Contrary to expectations, traffic bottlenecks persist at this junction during peak hours, thanks to the absence of designated bus stops and due to presence of at least a couple of bus stops at the sharp curves.

The indifferent attitude of bus crew and the passengers and the presence of a State Express Transport Corporation depot at this junction aggravate traffic snarls.

The four-lane project brought a spacious flyover, along with service roads and well-laid traffic islands-cum-parks at the TVS Tollgate junction.

Prior to the upgrading, the bus stops were situated near the Circuit House Road for city buses proceeding to Chathiram Bus Stand and at the present location for buses bound for Thanjavur/Chennai for the buses going to Ponmalai. Since the city buses to Ponmalai take the service road meant for buses proceeding to Central Bus Stand, commuters are left in the lurch without a bus stop. They wait below the flyover and when buses stop here to take in passengers, chaos prevails in the area. There is no designated bus stop for buses from Thanjavur/Chennai and city buses proceeding to Central and Chathiram bus stands. Buses stop at the point from where Pudukottai Road branches off.

The designated stop for city buses that go towards Mannarpuram is too close to the sharp curve. A majority of the crew stop the buses at the curve blocking the way for other vehicles. The NHAI authorities should get the stop shifted to a little distance away to ensure smooth flow of traffic, says M. Maheswaran, a young consumer activist. A firm decision should be taken on the stop for city buses to Ponmalai and for buses coming from Chennai and Thanjavur direction, Mr. Maheswaran says. Yet another problem faced at the TVS Tollgate Junction is the habit of commuters who wait near the sharp bend in front of the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Central Zone. The bus crew too are equally responsible for this mess. They never stop at the designated spot which is a little distance away. The traffic police recently set up temporary barricades to prevent people from waiting and to discourage bus crew from halting near the sharp bend. But the rule was observed more in the breach. Creation of a bay will force the bus crew to halt at the designated bus stop. Strict action on the part of the police in booking erring drivers will help in removing traffic bottlenecks.

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