CHENNAI: The has virtually turned into a parking lot for visitors to a local court and a revenue office, besides employees of private firms in the neighbourhood.

Metropolitan Transport Corporation () drivers say they are unable to park buses in the designated bays adjacent to the pedestrian platforms within the bus stand. complain that they are being forced to board and get down from the bus on the road.

Poonamallee bus stand, which acts as a hub for thousands of students, office-goers and workers living in the western suburbs, was built in 2011 to accommodate more than 100 buses at a time. Besides MTC buses plying to Tambaram (route number 66), Ambattur Industrial Estate (65B) and Koyambedu (153), some mofussil buses also enter the bus stand. Nearly 60 bus bays were built here, so that passengers can easily board the buses. Of this, a few located along the entrance of the bus stand are being used as parking space by outsiders. M V Ramamoorthy from Nethaji Transport Workers‘ Union said two months ago, MTC drivers had a squabble with some people parking their vehicles in these bays. The local police had to intervene to restore transport services after a brawl. “It becomes increasingly difficult in the morning hours to load or unload goods when buses are forced to halt on middle of the road. Other buses, waiting to depart, keep honking from behind,” said J Kasturi, a daily passenger to Koyambedu market.

As the buses are forced to be parked haphazardly, regular passengers who reach the bus stand early go in search of the buses to take a seat. “Sometimes I miss the bus since there is no designated parking space,” said a passenger. Despite several complaints, neither MTC nor police have been able to remove the other vehicles from the bus bays.

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