Friday, May 1, 2009

Take shelter

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation may operate the city's bus services, but if you want to catch one, you'll have to take shade at the mercy of the Corporation of Chennai. At the last count, there were approximately 1,200 bus shelters across the city. Many of them are in an advanced state of disrepair, the cement seats crumbling, as the are pillars. Others are designed rather poorly, that is not possible for them to be used as waiting spaces.

A couple of years ago, the Corporation of Chennai embarked on an ambitious project of upgraing the bus shelters. The idea was to form some kine of Public-Private-Partnership where a large enough proportion of the revenue goes back to the partner who has enhanced the look of the bus shelter. About 350 such shelters were identified; the modified design included cc tv, decent seats, a backlit panel, plus information panels showing the expcted time of the next bus and many other things which are essential for the commuters to know. The initial plan was to convert 350 of the existing shelters; it has been almost four years now, but it doesn't look like 350 bus stops have been upgraded.

The one in the picture certainly has been. Being right ouside the Secretariat of Tamil Nadu, it was probably one of the earliest to be upgraded. It appears that it is being used very sparingly; nobody wants to be the focus of attention from the ministers who look across to this bus shelter as their vehicle leaves the gate of the Fort!



4 comments:

lviss said...

that bucket like thing on the right- a garbage can?

Shantaram said...

@ Lviss: Don't remember exactly, but I guess you're right...

bitterscotch said...

the delay was over a legal dispute over who owns the shelters, the corporation or the mtc. the corporation took up the plan initially and i even have a list of all the shelters thaat were to be modernised based on the similiar design you can see at the secretariat.

but sensing the money involved the mtc tried to take over the process and put a case in the hc. so now the mtc seems to have taken up the work, the first shelter was installed at kannagi statue, marina beach. complete with ceiling fans, coin vending machines, public phone, mobile chargers, gps display system and two security guards to boot :)

Shantaram said...

@ Bitterscotch: Thanks! Haven't noticed the one you mentioned, but will look out for it now!