A bus terminus in Tambaram has long been a pipe dream for the many thousands of people who traverse the area every day. The project has hit many hurdles, but all that may be coming to an end. Sources in the Tambaram Municipality say construction is nearing completion and the bus terminus would be opened within two months time. But even as authorities promise that the wait for the terminus draws to a close, the situation continues to remain pathetic outside the Tambaram Railway Station, where the buses currently halt.
Sources in the Tambaram Municipality told Express that more than 90 per cent of the construction has been completed. But even as work carries on, the modalities of which buses will stop at the new bus terminus have not been finalised. These matters would be ironed out in a meeting with officials of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the State Express Transport Corporation, the source said.
The Tambaram Bus terminus was first proposed in 2005. After the project hit hurdles in land acquisition near the IAF base in Tambaram, it was shifted near the National Institute of Siddha. The cost was estimated at `4.95 crore, of which `two crore was borne by the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, and the rest coughed up by the Tambaram Municipality.
Even at the new site, troubles continued to dog the project, when the Archaeological Survey of India voiced its objections, saying the place proposed for the terminus was a heritage site.
Construction did not begin on the project till 2010, once the matter was cleared with the ASI, and issues relating to land acquisition were taken care of. Once open, the terminus will have 27 bus bays and 36 shops, along with public toilets and other amenities. It will also have a restaurant, a cloak room and a waiting lounge.
While news of the imminent opening of the new bus terminus is surely light at the end of the tunnel for the thousands of people who use Tambaram as their gateway in and out of Chennai’s metropolitan area, they continue to suffer with the current scenario.
Despite its importance, there are barely any drinking water, sanitation or seating facilities outside the Tambaram Railway Station, where the buses currently stop. If this was not enough, a part of this area is an open-air toilet, the stench from which forms a thick blanket all around.
The area serves as an important access point for transport services, both government and private, to Chengalpet, Kanchipuram and Villupuram, apart from major towns in the southern parts of the State.
If was only recently that the local administration set up temporary toilets for both ladies and gents.
A Municipality official told Express that steps were underway to ensure basic facilities at the bus shelter outside the railway station.