Chennai, May 10 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today announced introduction of 250 mini buses for operating in hilly areas, besides setting up of 25 new bus depots in various parts of the state at a cost of Rs 22.50 crore.
Making a statement under Rule 110 in the state Assembly, she said her government had given permission to start 43 bus depots in the last two years. Since there were demand from several members seeking to set up bus depots, the government had decided to set up 254 new bus depots at a cost of Rs 22.50 crore, she said.
The Chief Minister said the bus depots would be set up for Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) in Adambakkam, Chrompet, Perambur, Kundrathur, Perumbakkam, Thaiyur and Gummidipoondi. She said depots would be set up for State Express Transport Corporation's Villupuram Division in Chengam and Elathur, for Salem division in Omalur and Pallapatti, for Coimbatore division in Sulur, Madhukarai, Kinathukadavu and Perur, for Kumbakonam Division in Viralimalai, Uppiliyapuram, Priyattiyur, Karur, Kumbakonam and Palayam, for Madurai division in Kariyapatti and Ottanchathiram and for Tirunelveli division in Alangulam and Sathankulam.
Ms Jayalalithaa said to enable people living in hilly areas to reach other areas, 250 mini buses would be operated at a cost of Rs 35 crore. Stating that the enrollment of students in various institutions had increased due to initiatives taken by her government to prevent drop-outs, she said the number of buses operated for women and children in the city would be increased from 134 to 200 to cater to the growing demand.
"In a bid to encourage advance booking, those who book minimum ten bus tickets will get a discount of ten per cent," Ms Jayalalithaa said, adding, this system would be suspended during the festival season to prevent its misuse. Pointing out that those who regularly travel in urban areas were being given with concession passes, the Chief Minister said the scheme would be extended for those who use town buses too.
She said the government would introduce a travel card scheme which would be launched in the MTC on a pilot basis. The Chief Minister said a new Assistant Transport Commissioner office would be set up with Vellore as its headquarters. She also announced that the area offices in Sholinganallur, Ambattur, Vaniyambadi, Mayiladuthurai and Srivilliputhur would be upgraded as Regional Transport Offices.
She also announced that additional RTO offices would be set up in Kundrathur, Salem, Erode and Coimbatore. In addition, Ms Jayalalithaa announced setting up of area transport offices in many places and computerisation of testing areas in RTOs.