Commuters wait at the Kandanchavadi bus stop on Rajiv Gandhi Salai
Swanky shelters for commuters are to be installed at 54 bus stops on either side of Rajiv Gandhi Salai (formerly Old Mahabalipuram Road) by the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company.
The company, which maintains the arterial road, plans to float tenders for the facilities at 42 locations. The shelters will be of stainless steel and they would be designed in such a way that they can accommodate more people.
TNRDC's proposal to set up bus shelters on OMR is bound to bring cheer to the commuters as waiting for buses on the road, particularly during rush hour, is an ordeal and dangerous too. At many places, the commuters have to fight for space with the vehicles, mostly share autorickshaws.
"There are no trees either where we can take shelter from the sun. It is difficult to wait for buses even in the mornings. I shudder to think how it would be in the summer. It would be good to have the new shelters before the peak summer," said J. Premkumar, a resident of PTC Quarters.
Work to install shelters in the 17 km long stretch from SRP Tools to Siruseri – the first phase of Rajiv Gandhi Salai – is expected to be completed by the end of April. The 3 km stretch from Madhya Kailash to SRP Tools already has shelters.
"We are looking at designs that can accommodate more people and yet conform to standards," said a source in TNRDC.
The company is also in the process of completing work on laying service lanes on either side. "This work too will be completed by April end. With this the work on construction of phase one will come to an end," the source added.
K. Subhashini, who works in a company in Sholinganallur and commutes by public transport from Thiruvanmiyur, says that there are days when she takes MTC buses from SRP Tools junction and it is really difficult to wait for the bus.
"When it rains there is knee-deep water at SRP Tools. We have to wait for half an hour for a bus as all buses would come together."
The road, which was formed as an IT corridor and devoid of greenery, would also soon see a lot of trees. At present the median has palm trees and a few trees along the road till SRP tools have been in existence for nearly 20 years.
"We have enough space to plant saplings on the sides of the roads. We have planned to plant two kinds of saplings that would not take much space and would add to the aesthetic look. We are planning to invite interested residents, NGOs and corporates to take care of the saplings," a source said.