TNSTC buses skip Palpannai service road, drop passengers on Tiruchy-Chennai national highway

The drivers and conductors say they avoid the Palpannai service road to escape traffic jams.
A TNSTC bus skipping the service road to Palpannai and dropping off passengers on the Tiruchy national highway instead, on Thursday
A TNSTC bus skipping the service road to Palpannai and dropping off passengers on the Tiruchy national highway instead, on Thursday(Photo | M K Ashok Kumar, EPS)

TIRUCHY: TNSTC buses from other districts avoiding the Palpannai service road and instead entering the city by taking the one via Mannarpuram put passengers wanting to get down at stops like Palpannai and TVS Tollgate at risk as they complain that they are dropped off on the Chennai-Tiruchy national highway itself. This leaves them at risk of getting hit by a vehicle, particularly at nights, while walking down at least half a kilometre to reach the service road and catch a town bus to their stop, they said.

While the buses from places like Chennai, Namakkal and Salem are supposed to take the service road connecting places like Palpannai and TVS Tollgate before reaching Tiruchy city, passengers say their safety is neglected when rules are flouted and they are dropped on the national highway itself. The drivers and conductors say they avoid the Palpannai service road to escape traffic jams. While the issue was taken up with TNSTC officials several times, no action has been taken so far, frequent commuters rued.

S Samson, a resident of Tiruchy who often travels to Perambalur and back by bus, said, "I choose a government bus as it provides point-to-point service. But getting down on the highway is a problem. Last week, my 70-year-old mother, my daughter and I were forced to cross the highway. Had they dropped me off on the Palpannai service road instead, I could have caught an autorickshaw to reach home."

No one informed that the bus would not take the service road while taking ticket, he added. Walking down the highway to the service road is also a nightmare at nights, he said. A Rahuman, another regular traveller, said, "When I am forced to disembark on the highway, I find it difficult to cross it as vehicles ply at high speed. I am forced to cover half a kilometre to the service road and catch a town bus to home. When we ask the drivers and conductors, they say they avoid the service road owing to the traffic." When contacted, a senior TNSTC official in Tiruchy told TNIE, "We have advised employees not to drop passengers off on the highway. We also hold inspections. We will act on the issue immediately."

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