Today's Paper

Devadhanam bus stand plan grounded for good

S. Ganesan

TIRUCHI: Tiruchi Corporation's plan to establish an integrated bus stand at Devadhanam has come to a nought as Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has made it clear to Mayor Sarubala R. Tondaiman, that the government would not accord sanction for the bus stand at the proposed site.

Ms. Jayalalithaa, during her recent visit to inspect flood affected areas in the city, rejected the proposal, apparently on the grounds that the proposed site was too close to the Cauvery river. During a brief interaction between the two, while the former was inspecting the Cauvery river bund at Melur, the Chief Minister also asked the Mayor to identify an alternative site and send a fresh proposal to the government.

With the recent experiences of flooding in the Cauvery, the government is in no mood to risk locating an important public utility on a riverbank. The government's stand is in line with the district administration's view that the site, being a low-lying area, is prone to flooding. District officials feel vindicated after their contention is proved right when Devadhanam was inundated heavily during the recent floods.

The civic body had identified about 86 acres of land at Devadhanam, off the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road, and had even allotted Rs.1 crore in its budget for the current fiscal for acquiring land. Now, with the government making its stand clear, the Corporation finds itself back in square one.

Elected representatives of the Corporation contend that identifying a site for the integrated bus stand is proving to be a headache. An earlier proposal of establishing a satellite bus stand off Karur Highway near Chathiram Bus Stand was dropped after the civic body realised that it could ill afford to acquire the private land at market rates.

Corporation sources say the district administration has been suggesting that the integrated bus stand could be established at Panchapur, where the civic body has a vast extent of land. However, many are of the view that Panchapur is too far from the city and the bus stand, if established there, would not find public patronage.

Meanwhile, the Corporation is also yet to begin work on expanding the Central Bus Stand for which it had acquired an adjoining Railway land recently.