CHENNAI:The metropolis is growing rapidly at the southern end, beyond Tambaram, where affordability and a quieter life is prompting many a Chennaiite to relocate. However, lack of bus connectivity at night remains the major complaint for residents here, apart from employees of software companies in the suburbs, residing in the city.
With the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) not operating late night services to these areas, the only way for those finishing work late to get back home in the city, is to pay exorbitant fares for share autos and other private transport. After a certain hour, even these won’t ply, forcing them to wait at Tambaram till early morning when buses start plying.
N Shankaran, a resident of Urapakkam, says he cannot stay at work late because it becomes difficult for him to get back home.
The EMU services stop after 11.30 pm and share autos stop by midnight, he adds. “I am wondering why the focus is only on connectivity within the city. Nothing much has been done to provide transportation to people in this part,” he says.
M Anupriya, a college student in Tambaram, adds that after 9 pm, share autos charge double or more (from Rs 10 before to Rs 20-30 after 9 pm). “Even during the day, people residing in areas like Agaram, Camp Road, Madambakkam and surrounding areas are largely dependent on share autos. Imagine the situation during night. I have not seen any night service on this route,” she adds. Sholinganallur, Perungulathur, Vandalur, Urapakkam, Guduvanchery and Kelambakkam are some of the fast developing areas located beyond Tambaram. The spurt in the growth of IT companies has also contributed to the rapid growth in population here. S Jayanth, a resident of Perambur, moved to a rented flat at Kolapakkam after joining a pharmaceutical company at Alathur. Moving closer to his workplace helped reduce daily commute, but it is still a trouble when he wants to visit his home in the city.
“On Thursday, I wanted to go to Perambur for the extended week. But it got a little delayed at office, and there was no night service. Even the EMU service was unavailable. I had to stay at Kolapakkam for the night,” he says.
According to him, city residents travel a much shorter distance and can hope to hitch a ride with someone. “But imagine the plight of hundreds working in IT companies outside city limits. Even in case of emergency at home, they will have to wait till the morning or whenever their cab is ready,” Jayanth rues.
A source from the Transport Corporation says that there are 66 night service buses that operate on 27 routes. The Corporation data shows that not one of them plies to the South, beyond Tambaram. According to the MTC website, there is night service on route number 5A from Thiyagaraya Nagar to Tambaram West.
Though the 70c route (Koyambedu to Tambaram ) was marked as night service in the data obtained by the CE from MTC sources, their website shows it as an ordinary service and not night service.