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Unable to pay high rent for bus depot in Kariyapatti, TNSTC looks for government land

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the administration is finding it difficult to pay the annual rent of ₹3 lakh, officials said

Even as a section of officials of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) have expressed fear that ithe Kariyapatti depot is facing the threat of closure, senior officials clarified that efforts were being taken to find government land for a permanent depot.

An official said that the depot was set up on a private land in 2009 and over the years, the rent has increased to ₹25,000 a month. The depot has only a maintenance shed and a rented building for the workers’ retiring room, and lacks other facilities.

The Kariyapatti depot has 19 buses – one muffosil bus operated to Tiruchi and Aruppukottai and 16 town buses catering to Madurai, and villages in Kariaypatti, Narikudi and Tiruchuli blocks. Two are spare buses.

“Under the COVID-19 pandemic conditions, the administration is finding it difficult to pay a rent of ₹3 lakh annually. We have been searching for a plot of government poromboke land for a very long time, but have not succeeded so far,” an official said.

The only way to cut down on the rent is to find government land or to close down the depot. “In the event of its closure, the buses will be sent back to Aruppukottai and Virudhunagar depots that are 20 km and 29 km away respectively. This will result in additional fuel expenses and will lead to reduced services to rural areas,” an official said.

However, a senior official said that there was no proposal to close the depot down but only to shift it to its own land so that additional facilities could be created.

The officials have zeroed in on a Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department plot of land in the vicinity for the depot. “We have discussed with Revenue officials to buy the land for the depot. Even if it is for rent, we will get it for cheaper rate and could have better facilities,” he said.

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