When a new bus shelter came up a year ago along the compound of the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Trichy Road, it was meant to provide waiting passengers protection from rain and sun. But, it is becoming more of a resting place for vagabonds and passengers prefer to wait a few feet away than endure the unhygienic condition that is building up around the shelter.
A number of buses to Ramanathapuram, Singanallur and Ondipudur halt a row of stops outside the hospital. The Corporation decided more than a year ago to renovate one of the shelters as coconuts falling from a tree damaged its fibre glass roof. Corporation South Zone Chairman P. Pynthamil says terracotta floor tiles were laid, 12 seats provided and even a toilet had been built to make the wait for buses comfortable for passengers.
But, a year since then, the shelter threatens to turn into an eyesore. People do not wait there when they sight vagabonds sleeping. And, unmindful of the inconvenience they cause to others, some people use the area nearby as a toilet because the one constructed there is closed. “We had to close the toilet as people complained that it was being used for anti-social activities at night,” the Chairman says. Police had also carried out raids to check the menace. But, ultimately, the facility had to be closed. Mr. Pynthamil, who had initiated the project for the renovation of the shelter, points out that maintaining the facility has to be a common responsibility.