Tiruchirapalli

Fresh start to identification of site for integrated bus stand

Ashok Vardhan Shetty, Secretary, Municipal Administration, inspecting the plan for an integrated bus stand at Panchapur in Tiruchi on Wednesday.

Ashok Vardhan Shetty, Secretary, Municipal Administration, inspecting the plan for an integrated bus stand at Panchapur in Tiruchi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Handout-E-Mail

The process of identifying a suitable site for the integrated bus stand in the city is set to start afresh with the Panchapur site, identified by the previous government, being discarded for all practical purposes now.

District officials are on the look out for alternative sites for establishing the bus stand though the exercise is still in a preliminary stage. The process could once again go through a committee of officials that had been set up for identifying an alternative sites a few years back.

The committee, comprising officials from the Revenue, Town and Country Planning, Corporation, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Public Works Department, was constituted in December 2006 and it had narrowed down on the Panchapur site after considering at least four other sites.

Subsequently, the Corporation had drawn up an ambitious proposal of acquiring about 244 acres, including about 203 acres of private land, at Panchapur for setting up the bus stand along with various other public utilities such as truck terminal.

However, the suitability of the site has come into question again and the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development N.R.Sivapathi had indicated that the decision of the Corporation would be reviewed. Soon after taking charge as Minister, he had told reporters here that public interest would be paramount in arriving at a decision and not the benefit of any individual.

Choices

Sources say that the district officials have limited choices as not much land, required for a bus stand, was available close to the city. Four other sites short-listed a few years back may come into consideration again. The sites were at Devadhanam off the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road, the Ariyamangalam compost yard, Ramji Nagar on the Tiruchi-Dindigul National Highway and Kottapattu on the Pudukottai National Highway.

Officials would have to weigh in the advantages and disadvantages of each site before arriving at a decision. Of the four sites, the 86 acre-land identified for the purpose at Devadhanam along the Tiruchi-Chennai By-pass Road was rejected on the grounds that it was too close to the Cauvery River. Farmers groups had also objected to the site claiming that the public utility could turn into a source of pollution.

Similarly, reclamation of the 48 acre garbage dump could be a tough task as it would be almost impossible to transport the estimated 12 lakh tonnes of solid waste lying accumulated there.

This would leave very few choices for the officials. The Corporation can ill-afford to invest heavily on land, given its financial constraints. While loans could be raised for construction of the bus stand, financial institutions may not extend credit for purchase of land, sources said.

Meanwhile, service, residents welfare and consumer organisations have been pressing for the acquisition of the Defence land at Mannarpuram in the city as it was ideally located in the vicinity of the Railway Junction and the existing Central Bus Stand.

But this could prove to be long drawn out process as the State government has to persuade the Defence Ministry to part with the land.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 12:51:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/fresh-start-to-identification-of-site-for-integrated-bus-stand/article2229487.ece

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