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Time to restore bus service on East Boulevard Road

Congested spot:Heavy vehicles parked on East Boulevard Road in Tiruchi on Tuesday.M. MoorthyM_Moorthy

With moves afoot to shift the wholesale traders of the Gandhi Market to the newly built market at Kallikudi in the outskirts of the city, a section of civic activists have urged the authorities to initiate steps to restore public transport via the East Boulevard Road.

The East Boulevard Road, which runs parallel to the West Boulevard Road in the city, has remained without direct access to public transport as town buses are not operated on this arterial road, primarily due to the traffic bottleneck to the rear side of the Gandhi Market. Buses were operated via the road from Chathram Bus Stand to Tiruverumbur in the past and sporadic attempts to resume services via the road have proved unsuccessful.

Bus operators complain that indiscriminate parking of lorries along the road and heavy congestion on the stretch between Vazhakkai Mandi and Thanjavur Road makes it virtually impossible to operate buses as they are often caught in the logjam.

Hence buses, even those having permits to operate via East Boulevard Road, go via the West Boulevard Road to reach the Gandhi Market and Thanjavur Road.

Consequently, several residential colonies and the Town Railway Station have virtually gone without town bus link.

It is one big chunk of the city that is not served by public transport for several years now.

Now that the wholesale sections of the Gandhi Market is to be shifted to Kallikudi, civic activists see a good opportunity to clear the mess on the East Boulevard Road and make it good enough to resume town bus services.

M. Sekaran, president, Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations and member of the District Road Safety Council, says that though the issue is being consistently raised at the road safety council meetings, they have not been able to restore full-fledged bus services on the road.

“The TNSTC claims to operate a few buses via the road. Thirteen buses including private ones are said to have route permits to operate via the road. Once the wholesale traders are shifted, the lorry parking areas can also be shifted to make the East Boulevard Road accessible for public transport,” he says.

He suggests that all buses bound for Tiruverumbur from Chathram Bus Stand be operated via East Boulevard Road on a circular route. In the return direction, the buses can go via the Madurai Road as usual. Only this will ensure that there is no confusion in operation, he said.

N. Ramakrishnan, secretary, MGR Nalpani Mandram, says all efforts should be made to fully utilise the East Boulevard Road. All lorry booking offices in the Gandhi Market area and its surroundings such as Palakkarai, Madurai Road and East Boulevard Road should also shifted.

The lorry parking lot at East Boulevard Road should also be shifted to Kallikudi, he demands.

Both Mr. Sekaran and Mr. Ramakrishnan suggest that the scrap iron shops along Sub Jail Road should also shifted for free flow of traffic.


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