U.T. Matters | Orleanpet bus terminus in a mess due to lack of space

In disarray: Buses parked in a haphazard manner at the Orleanpet bus terminus on Sunday.  

The lone bus terminus at Orleanpet in Puducherry is bursting at its seams due to want of space, especially during peak hours and weekends. With over 1,000 buses operating out of it every day, the bus stand is always congested with vehicles.

Built in 1986, the bus stand had separate parking bays for buses bound to Chennai and neighbouring States. Although the number of buses has reached over 1,000, the facilities have not been upgraded proportionately. The bus terminus serves as a combined facility for both interstate and town buses. This has now become a source of trouble for passengers and the fleet operators.

In the absence of bus bays, the interstate buses bound to Chennai and other destinations are parked haphazardly at the entrance.

According to a municipal official, “The bus stand has only 28 parking bays for both interstate and mofussil buses. The area earmarked for mofussil buses could accommodate only 10 buses at a time. The parking of town buses and interstate buses in the same area causes congestion. Moreover, the parking of buses at the entrance/exit is also a perennial menace here. Two-wheelers are also parked in the bus bays, and a lot of space is wasted that way.”

Maraimalai Adigal Salai, where the terminus is located, is already congested. Omni bus service operators, who run services out of Puducherry, have occupied the office spaces on both sides of the road, resulting in a huge increase in vehicular traffic and footfall.

A section of the bus crew said it was difficult to enter the bus stand, particularly during peak hours. Due to lack of space, long-distance buses passing through Puducherry skip entering the bus stand.

“Not much attention is paid to provide amenities to passengers. The authorities have not provided proper drinking water facilities, adequate lighting and dustbins. There is no shelter or proper restroom facilities in the bus station,” said Lakshmikanthan, a resident of Pakkamudayanpet.

According to residents, the severe space constraints coupled with poor passenger amenities in the bus station have necessitated the urgent need for the construction of a new terminus as well as a bus depot for mofussil buses in a suitable and spacious locality in the city. There have been pending demands for construction of a new bus stand to decongest the traffic in and around the existing bus stand.

Authorities said they were pushing for the construction of a spacious second terminus in the city to ease congestion.

“The Government had proposed a spacious bus terminus at Velrampet near Mudaliarpet. A vacant site was also identified on the East Coast Road for the bus station. However, there has been no progress. The government has proposed a modern bus station with amenities for passengers under the Smart City Project,” an official said.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 12:57:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/ut-matters-orleanpet-bus-terminus-in-a-mess-due-to-lack-of-space/article37154440.ece

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