Civil work for redevelopment of Chathram Bus Stand under Smart City Project began on Friday.Bhoomi puja was performed in June for the project which has been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs.17.34 crores. The project would be completed in 24 months, officials said. Corporation Commissioner N. Ravichandran said that as the work gains momentum, some temporary arrangements, including alternative bus stops, would be designated.
While the first 200 metres of the bus shelters along the College Road was earmarked for Srirangam bound buses, town buses bound for Pettavaithalai, Kuzhumani and Somarasampettai could use the next 200 metres. Buses bound for villages situated along the Tiruchi-Karur road would have to use the next 200 metres. Buses bound for Central Bus Stand from Srirangam could use the space along Shrimathi Indira Gandhi College. Mr. Ravichandran said that the new arrangements would come into effect in a few days.About 285 buses operate out of the bus stand, located in the northern part of the city, making a total of 1,140 trips in a day.
Nearly one lakh passengers, travelling to various parts of the city and outside visit the bus stand on a daily basis. “However, the bus stand has been lacking adequate number of platforms and bus bays. There is no cloakroom for bus drivers or waiting room for passengers at the existing bus stand an official of the corporation said.The redeveloped bus stand would have 30 bus bays, a waiting hall, ticket counters, a food court, five shops and a resting area for police personnel on the ground floor.
The basement would have a parking lot with a capacity to accommodate about 350 two-wheelers. The first floor has been earmarked for commercial establishments.P. Sivapatham, Assistant Executive Engineer, Tiruchi City Corporation who is overseeing the operations said that the 53 shopkeepers at the bus stand have been asked to vacate. “New facilities such as a cloak room, like in railway stations, would be set up. A feeding room for lactating mothers will also be established,” Mr. Sivapatham said. As many as 33 shops – 17 on the ground floor and 16 on another floor – would be constructed.
“Shop owners have been asked to vacate and there is no hindrance in the process,” he said adding that the shops which would be constructed are large and will be allotted to these shopkeepers.A section of the public, however, are of the opinion that the work should be carried out with adequate safety measures in place. “The Chathram bus stand is a crowded area. The work has begun with heavy machinery without any barricades or demarcation. Who will answer if the public is injured?” asked N. Ramakrishnan, a civic activist. “On Friday morning, an earthmover was working at a tight corner from where buses could not see it. If it rams into the bus, hundreds of lives would be in danger. The location did not even have policemen or district administration authority overseeing it,” he said.
(source : The Hindu)