Too few small buses in northern suburbs

MTC Blame Poor Roads For Infrequent Services 

Chennai: Last mile connectivity continues to be a distant dream for hundreds of commuters in north Chennai though the state government has introduced small buses in many neighbourhoods in the city. 

Passengers in the northern suburbs of Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Ambattur and Royapuram complain that only three (Madhavaram-Rettari, Moolakadai-Manali and Ambattur OT-Murugappa Polytechnic) of the 20 routes have serve their localities, while a majority of the small buses run in central and southern Chennai. Share autos make a killing in the north because MTC buses are infrequent. 

“We were expecting mini buses to reduce crowding in regular buses and share autos. Unfortunately, MTC has not allotted adequate routes to the small buses in the northern suburbs,” said M Irulappan, who lives in Thiruvottiyur. He suggested that MTC introduce small buses in Ennore, Minjur, Manali, Mathur, Madhavaram and Kodungaiyur. 

MTC officials said small buses are meant to ply in the interior areas. “But, most interior roads in the northern suburbs are narrow and it is difficult for the small buses to negotiate such roads. Even the condition of the arterial roads is poor in the north compared to the southern suburbs,” said an MTC official. North Chennai comes under MTC’s Tondiarpet region with seven depots, including Madhavaram, Perambur, Ennore and Vyasarpadi. Just 626 regular buses of its 3,600-strong fleet ply here. 

Experts said MTC should not limit the number of small buses in the northern suburbs, and that more should be added in Red Hills, Thiruvottiyur, Pattabiram, Vyasarpadi, Royapuram, Washermanpet and Tondiarpet. “The small buses could be an alternative to share autos, and could reduce overcrowding,” said K P Subramanian, former professor, urban engineering division, Anna University. 

“The northern suburbs are neglected in all aspects. We also pay taxes, but the authorities do not provide us facilities as we are poor,” said K M Babu, a resident of Madhavaram. 

Corporation officials said they have been re-laying damaged interior roads in the northern suburbs under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission.
Passengers are seeking more services to
Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Ambattur and Royapuram

Courtesy: Times of India | Christin Mathew Philip TNN

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