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Integrated bus stand forTiruchi remains a dream

Heart of the matter: Tiruchi Central Bus Stand, despite cramped space, bears the brunt of the increasing demand.

The absence of any mention in the State Budget on the long-pending demand for establishing an integrated bus stand in Tiruchi has come as a big let-down for city residents.

Despite oft-repeated commitments to set up such a facility, the Corporation and the State government have not been able to firm up the plan. The vexed issue has eluded a consensus with respect to the choice of location for the bus stand under successive governments. “There is nothing in the State Budget regarding development of Tiruchi. It is regrettable that there is none to lobby for the city’s cause. Elected representatives have failed to take up the matter and so has the corporation. The proposal is gathering dust for years together,” observed C. Balasubramanian, honorary president, District Exnora.

Some activists accuse the State government of ignoring Tiruchi. “While Madurai and Salem regions get all the attention, Tiruchi continues to be neglected by the government. The Corporation too does not seem to have a clear direction on the issue,” alleged N. Ramakrishnan, a civic activist.

In October 2017, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced in the city that the integrated bus stand would be established at Kottapattu. But the suitability of the location was questioned by many and apparently the site was rejected.

The Corporation also pushed for the establishment of a bus port with assistance from the Union government and sent request through the State government to include Tiruchi under the list of cities where bus ports are planned to be established by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. However, there has been no forward movement on this front.

The Corporation subsequently decided to redevelop and remodel the Central Bus Stand. Corporation Commissioner N. Ravichandran told The Hindu that a consultant had been appointed to draw up a plan. The civic body was eyeing the defence land at Mannarpuram for establishing the integrated bus stand. A proposal would be forwarded to the State government through the district administration, he said.

Many view Mannarpuram as an ideal choice. Former Mayor Sarubala R. Tondaiman, during her tenure some years ago, made an attempt to acquire the land when the late N.V.N. Somu was the Minister of State for Defence but the matter was not followed up.

Mannarpuram would be an ideal choice, said Mr. Ramakrishnan, given its proximity to railway station, Central Bus Stand and Chennai Bypass Road and Madurai highway.


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