Gone are the days when many air-conditioned buses carried the passengers during the hot summer season in TN. In this summer, it seems that just ordinary buses would be transporting the passengers across the state. Shocking but true!!
The peak summer is fast approaching now. In this scenario, the neighbouring states of TN are buying air-conditioned buses for the comfortable travel of the people. In TN, the air-conditioned buses are being converted into ordinary buses.
The lack of enough funds for maintenance and repair has been cited as the reason for conversIon of air-conditioned buses into ordinary ones by the Kumbakonam TNSTC to operate along the Chennai- Villupuram route. To suit an ordinary service, TNSTC removes air conditioning units and window glasses etc in its buses. In 2022, SETC had converted nearly 20 air-conditioned buses to normal or non air-conditioned buses is known. Point is that these buses are old, green ones that have been added to the fleet of SETC about 7 years back.
The unique degradation policy of TN has been affecting the service quality and this has been different from other states in India. It must be taken into account that in TN every new bus is operated on long distance routes for 7 to 8 years years and then when the buses start to develop issues they get shifted into town or city services.
Mr. R. Rengachari, transport activist, spoke about how air-conditioned buses are being subjected to degradation. As per Mr. Sathyapriyan Kamaraj, TNSTC Enthusiasts founder it was clear that the difference in fares between non-a/c and a/c buses was just Rs 20 to Rs 30 per head. He added that many passengers favour air-conditioned buses only during the peak summers. He concluded that the TN govt must allocate enough funds to maintain these buses.