Private institutions willing to chip in but local bodies put a road block

The growing population in the suburbs, particularly in southern and western localities, is happy that the MTC has expanded its operations there. But it is shortlived as the Chennai Corporation has not established proper bus shelters.

Of the 2,600 bus stops geo-coded by the MTC, close to 45% of them fall outside the purview of the Chennai Corporation.

The Corporation, through a PPP model, has leased out 650 shelters to private players. In fact, the Corporation has earned ₹1.45 lakh per year from each shelter. It is also planning to tap the financial potential with the remaining 770 shelters.

Last priority

In areas outside the city limits, the installation of bus shelters and their maintenance has fallen on the local bodies. But this remains their last priority.

An official of the Avadi Municipality said normally bus shelters are constructed by the local councillors. As local body elections have not been held, they have not been constructed, he added.

However, private institutions and public sector companies in the suburbs are willing to fund construction of bus shelters. But ‘hindrance’ from the local administration for giving permit has come as a dampener.

T. Sadagopan, a consumer activist in Pattabhiram, said a private college in Avadi was willing to put up one in Avadi for the benefit of commuters. But the local administration, citing reasons like getting permission from State Highways and MTC, disallowed it.

Social activists point out that the MTC should have more say when it comes to design, installation and maintenance.

They point out that the State government should take steps to handover the installation and maintenance of bus stops outside the Corporation limits to the MTC.

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