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Haphazard parking of omni buses in Puducherry eats into road space

Booking counters and offices of a majority of private bus operators are located on the arterial Maraimalai Adigal Salai and in the absence of a designated parking space, the operators have virtually turned the road into parking bays.

January 22, 2023 02:31 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:08 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

Omni buses waiting to pick up passengers on the Maraimalai Adigal Salai in Puducherry. 

Omni buses waiting to pick up passengers on the Maraimalai Adigal Salai in Puducherry.  | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

Haphazard parking of omni buses on the roadside in the absence of a designated terminus has been choking vehicular movement, particularly during the evenings on the arterial Maraimalai Adigal Salai here.

Omni buses parked on either side of Maraimalai Adigal Salai is a common sight. The booking counters and offices of a majority of private bus operators are located on the road and in the absence of a designated parking space, the operators have virtually turned the road into parking bays.

The buses headed to various destinations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala start picking up passengers waiting in front of the respective booking counters from 7 p.m. and it continues till midnight.

The situation is worse during weekends and holidays when the number of buses from Puducherry to neighbouring States is more. Each bus halts for more than 20 minutes in front of their respective booking office to pick up passengers and this chokes traffic on the road.

“When one bus leaves, there are a few more buses waiting behind to occupy that space. The situation remains chaotic in the evenings. The buses are parked from the Nellithope signal all the way up to bus stand, choking traffic and causing extreme inconvenience to motorists and residents,” said Manikandan, a resident of Orleanpet.

According to an urban planner, “Omni bus drivers seem to be completely oblivious of the parking rules and regulations. A number of commercial establishments are located on the Maraimalai Adigal Salai and illegal parking by buses has been eating into the road space. Neither the Police nor the Transport Department acts tough against them. The presence of a Police booth in the bus stand has not helped in minimizing the congestion. The omni buses should not be allowed to park on the roadside and a separate parking space should be earmarked for them.”

Government action

An official of the Transport Department said that a parking space had been readied at the truck terminal near Gorimedu to drive in and out buses. A minimal fee is charged by the local body from bus operators for using the facility.

“We have appealed to bus operators repeatedly to use the facility, but to no avail. The Department has been acting against such illegal parking. However, they resort to parking on the roadsides after the enforcement drive.”

The official added, “The Department has now started issuing e-challans to vehicles for not parking in designated parking spaces. The e-challan fine would reflect in the online Vahan portal and services would remain suspended. The Department has now planned to enforce this on a massive scale.”

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