CHENNAI: Bustling with passengers waiting for their bus, horns blaring and engines revving up, a few people hollering and selling tickets, auto drivers bargaining with commuters…it was just another afternoon at the Koyambedu bus stand when chaos reigns supreme on a daily basis. A van pulls up in front of the bus stand and starts playing a video of Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s schemes and the support she has given to the people. Behind the van, you can see a long line of senior citizens standing in front of the government office. They have been waiting since morning to get their free bus passes.
Mani, who was standing in queue and trying to paste his photo in the application form at the same time, said, “I filled my application and got two documents — Aadhaar and ration card. I hope I get the pass soon; I don’t have the strength to stand for a long time.”
Senior citizens will be issued bus passes and given 10 tokens a month, which they can give conductors to avail a free ride. For age verification, a photo identity proof like Adhaar, voter ID or ration card along with two passport size photos are required. Although there is no deadline, many tried to get it on Wednesday, the Chief Minister’s birthday. The bus passes are distributed in 40 depots and citizens can download the form from www.mtcbus.com.
While some seniors are determined to get their pass despite the long queues, others leave after just looking at people sweating it out under the sun. At one point, over 50 elderly people were standing in the line. One of the senior citizens with a walking stick, Meena looked dejected. “I have Aadhaar card and voter ID photocopy for verification, but these people want a photocopy of the ration card too, which I didn’t know was required.”
One of those who successfully got the pass told City Express he had waited for one hour for it. Several people who were standing in queues needed help to fill their applications too — two government staff were present to help them out. Meanwhile, those in line waited with hope in their eyes to get their pass and tokens for a free ride.
How to Get It
■ Download the form from www.mtcbus.com or get it from the bus depot office
■ A photo identity and age verification proof like Aadhaar card, voter ID or ration card along with two passport size photos
■ Once the form is submitted, the citizens get the passes for four months and 10 tokens for a month
■ The bus passes are distributed in 42 depots including Avadi, Tambaram, Ambattur and Thiruvanmayur from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm and 2 pm to 7 pm
■ There is no deadline