Saturday, December 9, 2006

Commuters, confusion, chaos

Commuters, confusion, chaos

Last week at CMBT, the conductor of a D-70 bus abused an old man, who had wanted to go to Ambattur OT, for absolutely no reason. The man had got into the bus thinking that it was going towards Ambattur, but it was bound to Velacherry. 'It was just a mistake, and it is human to err.'
This is not a single incident. It happens everyday, sometimes to many, often to the elderly and to women. The reason, as most commuters say, is the sheer callousness of the MTC drivers. 'one cannot expect anything from them.'
Speaking to Talk Team, Kamesh Rao, a resident of Arumbakkam and working with a marketing company, says, 'I usually travel by bus all over Chennai to meet many clients. Wherever I go, I never find any difficulty in boarding a bus, be it Parrys Corner or Pattabiram. It is only here at CMBT, particularly the 70-series buses (D-70, C-70 and so on) I find very difficult to board.'
There are no bays for these buses here. Understanding the commuters' plight, initially, the MTC officials had marked two places (stops) for buses of this series. This was done to differentiate buses coming from Ambattur and Velachery. During those days, commuters did not find it difficult to board buses, as they would stop at the designated points. But things have become bad, and now chaos reigns'.
Supporting Kamesh's version, Kumarappan, a retired Railways employee and a resident of Thirumullaivayil, said, 'We have to crowd the entrance every time. And most of the drivers stop their buses wherever they wish. We have to rush to the bus and ask the driver, which way it goes. Some drivers never respond'.
But, here, we should mention that there are a few conductors, who help and guide the old and inform them. Kumarappan said, 'The authorities should take note of the plight of the commuters, and must take steps to 're-introduce' the old system, where these buses used to stop at the marked spots', said another regular commuter.
To lessen crowding on selected routes, the MTC rolled out new Yellow line and Blue line services last week, including in the 70-series. While welcoming the step by the government, the regular commuters from CMBT towards Ambattur and Velacherry also expect a solution to the problem. Will the concerned officials take note of it?
-G Saravanan