With the State government’s recent issuance of an order to shift the Pernambut bus stand to a proposed site in Sathgar village nearby taking people by surprise, the bus stand retrieval committee, holding an urgent meeting, resolved to boycott the proposed local body elections, abstain from paying tax to the municipality and to hoist black flags in houses and commercial establishments.
Public ire over the sudden move manifested in an urgent meeting called for by representatives of various political parties, including the Congress, the DMK, the TMMK, the AMMK and the BJP along with those from social welfare organisations on Wednesday evening.
Besides deciding to boycott civic polls and other opposing measures, the meeting also resolved to conduct agitations daily and to move the court on the issue.
While the present bus terminus is adjacent to educational institutions and business establishments, the proposed site is outside town and is at the end of a shopping complex and is reportedly approachable only by a narrow, congested road. Sources said that the land donors were all close to a ruling party bigwig and hence the reason for the haste in shifting the terminus despite opposition.
Though three public hearings over the shifting of the terminus were held – two in Pernambut and one in Vellore – in the past, those who participated said the meetings ended in clamour without any decision being taken.
Speaking on the issue, retrieval committee coordinator G Suresh Kumar said, “I volunteered to give one-acre land within the town, but the deal fell through when bigwigs from the local AIADMK and the DMK units demanded that I sell it to the local body at an enhanced price and hand over the money to them.”
With the present bus stand located near the police station in the heart of the town lacking space, Suresh Kumar said he even suggested that the government land opposite the present terminus which had enough vacant area could be used.
Former councillor Meeran G Saleem on the issue said, “We do not understand why the government is going ahead with the shift when we suggested alternative sites and proved clearly that public opinion was against the shift.”
Meanwhile, Gudiyattam DMK MLA S Kathavarayan who earlier reportedly boasted that nothing could be done on the bus terminus issue without his saying so, was trolled on social media for a change in stance and not opposing the proposed move.