400 bus shelters to come up in city by end of April
When Janaki Sriram, a consultant, shifted her residence to Anna Nagar West recently, she decided to use public transport to do her bit to control pollution. She is tempted to re-think the idea as every morning she feels dehydrated and perspires by the time she steps into a bus from Collector Nagar stop to go to her office in T Nagar. “There is no shelter or cover, “Janaki says. “However, when I get down on the opposite side, there are rows of new steel shelters, it definitely seems comfortable. There are so many people like me who would use the bus services if facilities were better.”
Commuters like her who are fretting over the scorching summer have a relief coming as half of the 400 modern bus shelters planned by the corporation will be open in a week. All the 400 shelters are expected to be complete by the end of April. This work to transform old concrete bus shelters into stainless still structures began in January across the city and peripheral areas.
This project will not cost corporation a penny as it is on a build-operate-transfer contract where a private agency will build, operate, maintain and finally transfer the ownership to the corporation after a liability period of 15 years. The revenue generated will be through advertisements and corporation will be the sole authority to grant permission for ads. Each bus shelter is expected to garner revenue of 2 to 2.5 lakh every year through advertisements. The civic body is not planning for any air-conditioned bus shelters in the near future. The only AC bus stop in Chennai is at Asargana on Grand Southern Trunk Road built by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) which opened last year.
Last year, following an apex court order that only the corporation is authorised to maintain bus shelters, the civic body took over 500 shelters that were built by agencies appointed by the MTC.
Source : Times of India.