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`Palanganatham bus stand only a temporary measure'

By Our Staff Reporter

MADURAI, FEB. 16 . The Corporation Commissioner, A. Karthik, today clarified that the decision taken by the district administration to reopen the Palanganatham bus stand as a temporary measure for select 86 private buses was only to prevent them from entering the city and ease traffic congestion.

"The moffusil bus stand would remain closed, where a park would come up, and only the erstwhile city bus stand would be revived," Mr. Karthik said. The short-distance buses, for which the operators had got a court stay on the order, issued by the Collector, also Regional Transport Authority, to take the ring road from Tirumangalam to the Mattuthavani integrated bus stand, would terminate at Palanganatham. However, other buses, including the short-distance moffusil Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation buses, would be allowed to pass through the city only one-way.

Stating that the local body was incurring a daily loss of Rs.15,000 because the 86 buses had not been using the ring road, Mr. Karthik said, "The new system will not cause any additional financial loss to us in terms of toll collection". The local body had collected Rs.17.72 crores as toll fee till yesterday.

The buses, which were running for a distance below 60 km., could not be diverted beyond 25 km, and therefore, they continued to take the usual route according to their old route permit orders. Though the buses were supposed to terminate at the Palanganatham bus stand, the administration was forced to allow them to pass through the city, which was in violation of the permit order, since the bus stand was closed, Mr. Karthik said.

Mr. Karthik exuded hope that with the ban on entering the city beyond Palanganatham bus stand, the buses would lose their usual patronage, which he said would work in favour of the TNSTC buses.

Asked about the long delay in vacating the stay order, Mr. Karthik said that efforts had been made.

The issue had been taken to the notice of the Finance Minister and the Transport Minister and the Government wanted to take further steps only after the pending case was resolved by the court, he added.

Water connection

The prospects of providing new water connections for the over 500 applications received per zone appeared to be bleak, since the drinking water position was "not comfortable". Mr. Karthik said the applications were sought when the water storage was sufficient to cater up to August-end. However, after release of water for irrigation, the present storage would last only up to April-end. The Corporation would request the State Government for further drawal of water from the Periyar dam to the Vaigai reservoir at a later stage, he said.

Two suspended

The Commissioner has suspended two Corporation lorry drivers for tampering with the global positioning system installed in the vehicles to track their movement. Four more drivers were facing action on a similar charge, he said.

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