TIRUCHY: Tiruchy Ever since the state government's announcement of free bus travel for women passengers, buses in Tiruchy have been regularly skipping certain stops, claim women commuters, as a result of which they are forced to wait longer or depend on private buses.
More than 300 government buses ply through the city, which has five bus depots, and about 1.82 lakh women depend on them. Women passengers, however, allege that buses would skip stops like Anna Statue, Main Guard Gate, Thillainagar, MGMGH, Mahalakshmi Nagar, Marakadai and Kattur during the peak hours and at night, leaving them in the lurch for long hours.
S Maheswari, a resident of Kattur, told TNIE, "I come to Main Guard Gate every day for work. After the free bus travel scheme was announced, I would travel regularly on government buses. However, some government buses skip the Main Guard Gate bus stop when there are women passengers waiting, and we have to wait at least 20 minutes for the next bus. Because of this, I reach home at night."
G Selvi, a resident from Mahalakshmi Nagar said, "Boarding and getting off the free buses at Mahalakshmi Nagar bus stop is a challenge for us, because only a few buses stop here, and the bus conductors do not behave with respect."
K Saranya, a resident of Mutharasanallur said, "I use the government bus to go to my college at Chathiram bus stand. Sometimes the government bus does not stop, and I am forced to travel by private bus to reach college on time. Many women in our village rely on government buses to go to work."
When contacted, a senior official from Tiruchy bus depot said, "We have been getting a number of complaints. We are taking strict action in this regard. That apart, we hold meetings and give advice to drivers and conductors."