Displacement has not discouraged a large community of school students from continuing studies at their ‘old’ school. Making their lives a little smooth is MTC ( Metropolitan Transport Department).
MTC arranges special bus services for students whose families have been resettled from the banks of the Buckingham Canal, on encroached land and elsewhere and now reside in tenement colonies built by TN Urban Habitat Development Board in faraway Ezhil Nagar, Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery.
These services are for students who study at schools in R A Puram and in San Thome.
Thankfully, MTC restarted these twice-a-day services soon after schools re-opened following relaxation of pandemic- time regulations.
Close to 150 students from Ezhil Nagar, Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery in the southern side of the city board three different MTC buses every morning to get to school. Later, at about 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., the three buses parked near the campuses of St Anthony’s Hr. Secondary Girls School and St Lazarus Middle School on Madha Church Road pick up students to go home.
“A teacher and a sub-staff go to the nagars every morning to ensure the buses pick up all out students and we are on the buses on the evening trip, daily,” says a senior teacher at St. Lazarus School.
While almost all students in senior classes attend classes, the attendance in junior classes which are held on alternate days dips and rises strongly.
Teachers say that these buses are point-to-point and do not allow the public to board them. “We had to strive to get these services and are grateful to MTC for sustaining them,” said another teacher who co-ordinates with the MTC staff.
Now, Mylapore MLA Dha Velu has asked MTC to arrange a similar service from Perumbakkam to serve Chennai Schools ( run by GCC) in Kotturpuram and Alwarpet.