Chennai: The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), which operates over 3,000 buses from 34 depots in the city and suburbs, draws flaks from all quarters, as these depots utterly fail to meet basic amenities.
Sources said that over 30 lakh passengers use MTC buses per day. Yet, basic amenities like drinking water, toilets and proper waiting seats lack in the depots. Worse still, most depots do not have proper roofs, these are damaged and leaky roofs lead to inundation on rainy days.
“Even though the MTC, a few months ago, claimed that they would take up renovation works at some main depots like T Nagar, Adyar, Tambaram and Tiruvanmaiyur, it has failed to keep its promise,” said an MTC staffer. Timekeepers and crew have to spend their money for getting drinking water, staff added.
M. V Ramamurthy, vice president of the Tamil Nadu State Netaji Transport Union, said, “All depots are in a poor condition. One of the worst bus temrinals in the city is the Tiruninravur MTC depot. It has absolutely no shelter at all. You can rarely see MTC buses there but you can see private vehicles piling up.”
Last year, revenue officials planned to construct the depot. They surveyed the land, the activist said, but did nothing more. The situation is similar in other big depots like Tambaram and T.Nagar. “Since approach roads leading to the depots from main roads are patchy, buses can be seen leaning from side to side. Further, most waiting seats are damaged and passengers are forced to stand to catch their buses,” said an employee in the T. Nagar depot.
“Cities like Bengaluru, Delhi and some cities in the northern states maintain bus depots in a proper manner to improve patronage, thus increasing revenue,” said a staff from the Transport Development Institute. Similarly, Chennai city, where a huge number of passengers travel in MTC buses, should do the same, the staff added.
Meanwhile, passengers cry foul over poor infrastructure in the depots. “I go outside to relieve myself as there is no toilet in the depot and I stand for a long time as there are no waiting seats,” said a regular MTC commuter at Avadi depot. He urged officials to keep the depots neat and clean with necessary infrastructure.
When contacted, Anbu Abraham, Managing Director, MTC, claimed that the MTC is taking up repair works at regular interval. “We will assess all the depots and take up works, if necessary,” the MD said.