CHENNAI: For 25 years, residents of Mathur MMDA have been waiting for a bus terminus for the locality. Although a part of the original scheme plan, a substantial part of the space earmarked for the terminus has been handed over to TANGEDCO, claim residents.
“Apart from the buses having to stop on the roads, there are no toilet facilities for drivers and conductors without a terminus,” said R S Babu, secretary, Mathur MMDA Welfare Association.
He added that several residents who decided to buy a plot in the locality had done so in the belief that these basic facilities would be made available.
Mathur MMDA, along with Chinna Mathur and Periya Mathur, houses over 35,000 people. According to residents, the nearest terminus is in Madhavaram, around 4 kms away.
However, their long drawn struggle for the bus station was forced to come to a screeching halt over a year ago after their petition drew out an interesting reply from the officials.
“We identified lands that have also been lying unused since the last 25 years and wrote to the concerned officials to discuss the possibility of them being converted to a terminus,” said CM Ramesh, a member of the residents association.
In a reply to the petition originally sent to the Tamil Nadu Public Grievances Cell, the manager (Marketing and Service) from the department of Housing and Urban Development had said the lands identified for the bus terminus were under the category of ‘saleable area’.
The written response further asked the petitioner to participate in the auction conducted by TNHB and in case the requested sites are allotted, “the petitioner may after allotment of the plot, convert the classification as per the petitioner’s willing".
“In response to a specific request for a bus terminus as indicated in the CMDA plan, the officials have asked us, a residents welfare association, to purchase the land required for a bus terminus and convert it to our needs. How is it that they ask us to operate a bus terminus?,” asked a member.
Since the space allocated for the terminus may no longer be used for the originally intended purpose, the residents had taken it upon themselves to identify unused vacant lands in the locality that may be converted to a terminus- spaces allocated for the town centre, cinema theatre and the land with the high school building that was currently being used as a stand for lorries and private buses.