CHENNAI: In less than a year after shutting the Semmancheri bus depot down, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has downgraded the Besant Nagar depot to a terminus, transferring the 10-12 staff stationed there to other depots. The facility was upgraded to a depot in 2014.
While the MTC claimed that the move will not impact commuters, absence of MTC staff is likely to pose some difficulties to the public, especially when the latter have to wait without knowing whether the buses to their destinations are being operated.
Even though the MTC administration has cited cutting of administrative expenses as the reason, it is learnt that the decision was taken mainly because of dwindling services. The number of bus services handled at Besant Nagar stood at 75 to 85 a day earlier, but the figure fell to 15 to 20 per day post the lockdown.
“The earnings from these skeletal services were too low to maintain the Besant Nagar depot. Hence, the buses were attached to Adyar depot,” said a source.
K Elangovan, managing director (in- charge), MTC, said the move would cut the expenses of corporation by a minimum of Rs 25 lakh per year. “Regardless of strength of the depot, the expenditure on staff remained the same. There will be no change in the number of services operated from the terminus. The decision was taken purely on the administrative grounds,” he said. S Krishnan of Saidapet, a bus enthusiast said, “Since there is no time keeper or controller at the terminus, commuters will face inconvenience. Besides, commuters’ amenities such as seats and display boards may not be maintained properly.”