TRICHY: Snarl-ups caused by private bus operators are a common sight in Cantonment, when they halt the buses on the arterial roads to pick up passengers after beginning the journey from the private bus stand in Trichy. Though a bus stand was set up exclusively for them to park their vehicles, to avoid the recurring traffic snarls near the Central bus stand, the private operators still park the long-haul buses on the roads and create chaos in the area. The space and facility in the Central bus stand, where the floating population is more than one lakh on any given day, are inadequate to handle the crowd of passengers. But the private buses, which occupy a major portion of the VOC Road and Rockins Road, were aggravating the traffic congestions around the bus stand. To ease the congestion, a private bus shelter on about 2 acres of leased railway land was established for the private buses in November 2018.
However, the private buses heading to Chennai and Coimbatore are still halting near Central bus stand to pick up passengers unmindful of the chaos they create. “The number of private buses parked near the Central bus stand is more than that of the buses parked inside the private bus stand. It seems that the city traffic police turn a blind eye towards the haphazard parking of the private buses,” C Balasubramanian, member of Road Safety Council said.
The fleets hinder even the free movement of two-wheelers, local people said. Besides creating chaos, the private buses also make a dent in the revenue of the state-owned buses to Chennai by taking passengers from the area near the Central bus stand. Meanwhile, the private bus operators claimed that the private bus stand is unfamiliar to the passengers who are arriving from rural areas. “Perhaps the authorities can help us install signboards directing the passengers to the bus stand. To fill up the seats, a few buses might be halting near the Central bus stand,” a representative with Trichy District Omnibus Owners Association said.
Several private bus operators who have offices outside the private bus shelter were also seen halting their fleets in front of their offices to allow passengers board the buses load cargo. This is also adding to the traffic congestion. However, city traffic police promised to monitor the Central bus stand locality. “Private bus operators who park their vehicles will be fined,” a senior official with city police said.