The Central Bus Stand in Tiruchi, which has served people for more than 50 years, is plagued by poor sanitary conditions putting commuters to hardship.
Lack of hygiene, poor maintenance of amenities such as toilets, and encroachment by shopkeepers are some of the issues that the passengers encounter at the bus station.
The bus stand which spreads over 4.5 acres of land, has 77 bus bays and sees the movement of over 2,000 buses every day. The facility, which is considered a major transit hub, handles thousands of passengers bound for different destinations a day.
In a place that sees a huge footfall daily, the toilets, maintained by the Corporation, are struggling to keep up. “Passengers travelling from a long distance would want to freshen up, but the pay-and-use toilets are always unhygienic. They should be cleaned more often as insufficient cleaning of the toilets is the most common reason for the bad smell,” said R. Lalitha, a passenger.
“Due to irregular waste collection, flies are drawn to the open garbage bins used by the eateries and pose a health risk to passengers,” she added.
With the onset of the monsoon, water stagnation is a common sight at the bus stand. “Water stagnation is a perennial problem after rainfall due to potholed roads and it also provides a breeding ground for water-borne diseases,” said Mohan from Salem.
Besides, the majority of the shop owners who operate inside the stand have encroached upon the passenger space, which is troublesome for the passengers.
A senior official of the Corporation said that they would initiate action to resolve public concerns. “We will look into improving cleanliness standards and appropriate steps will be taken to remove encroachments from the bus stand,” he said.
After the completion of the integrated bus terminus at Panchapur, it is expected that only city buses would be operated from the existing central bus stand, thereby paving the way for decongesting the traffic volume in and outside the bus stand.
According to the officials, the civic body has plans to redevelop the Central bus stand in order to operate buses effectively and without hassle. “Once the construction of the integrated bus terminus project begins, the Corporation would shift its attention to remodelling the bus stand,” he said.