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Commuter inconvenience: Bustling with buses, Red Hills terminus cries for space, traffic on GNT Road hit
The State transport utility, MTC, is a workhorse on which the common man depends. DT Next will visit all 32 bus stations in the city for a spot assessment.
Space crunch is causing severe hardships to both commuters and bus crew at the Red Hills bus terminus, from where more than 1,350 services are operated to various parts of the city. It also affects the traffic on GNT Road causing traffic blockage, complained the residents.
The terminus, located on Grand Northern Trunk Road, was built to park only 20 buses at a time. However, it gets more number of vehicles as every day 203 buses from the facility undertake 1,356 trips in various routes across the city and beyond.
From Red Hills, buses are operated to Broadway, CMBT, Guindy, Tondiarpet, Mint and Poonamallee in the city. The terminus also provides connectivity to the rural areas like Gummidipoondi, Tiruvallur, Ponneri, Pulicat and Periyapalayam. The terminus is the main point of connectivity for the people living in nearby villages and towns to reach the city.
Due to the limited availability of space, buses arriving at the terminus are parked on GNT Road, causing traffic snarls. “At any point of time, one can see the buses parked outside the terminus. During the peak hours, nearly half a dozen buses would be parked, leading to traffic snarls on the busy GNT Road,” said K Kamalakannan, a local resident and commuter.
Apart from buses parked outside the terminus, the buses leaving the facility has to take left on GNT Road and make a U-turn, 100 metres away on the same road. “Even though GNT Road is wide, the traffic comes to a standstill when the buses take U-turn one after another during the peak hour,” he complained.
Except for the public announcement system to inform the passengers about the arrival and leaving of buses, the terminus does not have any amenities. “Though it is busy throughout the day, it does not have a roof to provide shelter for those waiting for buses. With no seating facility, women and senior citizens also find it difficult to use the facility,” said K Arivalagan, a second-year student of Dr Ambedkar Government Arts College at Vyasarpadi.
Meanwhile, MTC workers complained that the terminus does not have a restroom for the crew members. “It takes at least one hour to reach any destination from here. When we arrive at the terminus after driving for an hour, there will not be any place to rest for few minutes before the next trip,” complained a bus driver.
An MTC official said that they have reduced the waiting time for the buses at the terminus to ensure no buses are stuck outside. “There no space available for expanding the terminus that belongs to Naravarikuppam Town Panchayat,” he said. He added that they had also asked the local body to construct a roof for the terminus. “As the local body elections were not held for the past two years, the roof could not be built,” he mentioned.
If you have an MTC-related issue, write to us with a photograph at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will carry it in this column.