Uprooted bus shelter lies on roadside for five years

Discarded: A bus shelter which was uprooted during road widening at Valar Nagar in Madurai.

Discarded: A bus shelter which was uprooted during road widening at Valar Nagar in Madurai.   | Photo Credit: S_James

Corporation, Highways department differ on who should relocate it


S. Nandhini of Valar Nagar here is convinced that a large metallic sheet stretching alongside Melur Main Road is a wall for sticking posters. “I have never seen it being used as anything else,” she says.

Though Ms. Nandhini’s recent observation of the metallic sheet may be true, it is in fact part of an uprooted bus shelter which was removed five years ago by State Highways department during road widening. The metallic components and sunshade of the shelter remain intact but have been left to rot. No bus shelter has come in its place. Though buses halt near the old location, there is no sign to indicate the existence of a bus stop, say residents.

R. Balamurugan, who lives in the area, says the shelter had many patrons, particularly since the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court is located only 950 metres away. “During summer and monsoon times, several people would stop at the shelter. Ever since the Corporation limits were extended, the local body has barely paid any attention to this area. The shelter should have ideally been cleared long back,” he says.

V. Rajapandi, a commuter on this route, says four barricades were placed on Melur Main Road near Valar Nagar entrance, where buses ideally should make a stop, but the spot sees chaos during school time. “Buses move very fast here despite the barricades. They should be placed in a tighter formation and the bus shelter should be resurrected to avoid accidents,” he said.

Located about a kilometre away at Uthangudi is another missing bus shelter. S. Thavamani, who sells flowers and coconut, says people often crouch near her shop in summer. “The government should at least keep a signboard. Many people ask me where the bus stop is,” she says.

When contacted, a senior Corporation Engineer said it was the responsibility of State Highways department to dismantle the shelter and hand it over to the Corporation. “At least, the department should have provided a notice to us before uprooting it so that we could have relocated it,” the official said.

A State Highways department official said they had no such obligation to inform the Corporation. “The Corporation must tie up with contractors who are in-charge of maintenance of the shelter and ensure that it is relocated. We don’t have to dismantle it. They must do surveys and inspections to take care of bus shelters,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 5:52:06 AM |

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