CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has adjourned the hearing on `393.74-crore Kilambakkam Bus terminus for next two weeks as it is awaiting an official access audit report by an empanelled agency. The project got into a legal tangle after a social activist dragged CMDA to court alleging that the terminus was not in compliance with the Harmonized Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India, 2021.
According to sources, CMDA secretary Anshul Mishra, in his counter, submitted that construction of the terminus is a long-pending public demand. As per the work order issued on January 3, 2019, the construction ought to have been completed within 24 months. However, there was delay due to unforeseen circumstances, but all work have been completed by June 2023.
On assuming office, minister PK Sekarbabu blamed the ertswhile AIADMK government for the delay as officials monitoring the project had been mentioning deadlines without properly assessing the site.
Interestingly, after the DMK assumed office in 2021, the focus was more on completion of the project rather than assessing whether the terminus is passenger friendly. After access audit of the bus terminus was conducted on September 15, the Kilambakkam Bus Terminus Access Visit Observations report was released.
It had said that ramps in the terminus failed to comply with Rights Of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016.The CMDA contested this claim, calling it misleading. The authority said that it had issued work orders to complete all work and one of the tenders was issued three to four days prior to the court hearing.