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Sunday, December 23, 2012

What is ‘7 degrees C’? that you see on PTC buses


City buses are places for multifarious advertisements ~ still, did you notice and wonder what this sticker reading – coming soon  ‘7 degrees C’?

Chennai, is a city of luxuries ~ there are malls which charge hefty sum for parking fee ~ and a premium charge for entering through a designed entrance.  In the same city, people wait patiently in the bus stops and would not get into the bus which would carry them to their destination ~ because it is an Express service where they will have to pay more ! – paradox in the lives of people.
You know :  Pallavan, Cheran,  Chozhan, Pandian – no not of the dynasties that ruled; nor Thiruvalluvar, Mahakavi Bharatiyar, Dheeran Chinnamalai, Marudhu Pandiar, Kattabomman, Rani Mangammal, to Rajiv Gandhi and more……….. don’t keep guessing – all names of erstwhile transport Corporations in the State.

In the city of Chennai, presently buses are operated by the  Metropolitan Transport Corporation ~ the same Corporation was earlier known as PTC - Pallavan Transport Corporation.  The transport corporation was established on 1 January 1972 with a fleet strength of 1029 buses. The operational jurisdiction is restricted to  Chennai Metropolitan area. The Pallavan Transport Corporation was split into two and a new Corporation, namely, Dr. Ambedkar Transport Corporation Ltd. started functioning in 1994.  In 1997, more changes saw, Pallavan Transport Corporation being  renamed as Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai Division –1), Ambedkar Transport Corporation  renamed as Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai Division-II). In 2001, amalgamation took place and now it is MTC. As of 2012, the corporation operates 42,961 services daily in 800 routes.

…… then there is the State Express Transport Corporation (Tamil Nadu) Limited (formerly known as Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation), again a state-owned Transport Corporration that runs long distance express services exceeding 250 km and above throughout the state of Tamil Nadu linking all important capital cities, historical places, religious places and commercial places etc., and adjoining states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. This corporation operates Semi-Deluxe, Super-Deluxe, Video coach and ultra deluxe buses.  Earlier it was Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation (TTC) During early 1990s, it  was then bifurcated as J Jayalalitha Transport Corporation(JJTC) and TTC in which JJTC operated interstate routes. JJTC was then renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Transport Corporation. Both TTC and RGTC was later merged into one and called SETC in 1996. There were more Transport Corporations based on the operational jurisdiction. Now the long distance Express Services all ply under one name – one entity - State Express Transport Corporation. 

 Now,  one finds stickers on all Transport Corporations in Chennai city, hailing the arrival of ‘7 degrees C’ ~ it is an advertisement  publicising the SETC’s latest service — delivery of couriers.

Here is a report that appeared in the Hindu.  The transportation of letters and small parcels through State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) buses will commence before the end of this month. “A nominal charge of Rs.7 will be collected for sending postal covers and C stands for courier,” said an SETC official, explaining the campaign. A letter or a parcel handed over to the SETC service will reach its destination in 12 hours and the recipient can collect it from the terminus after producing the necessary documentation, said the official. The cost of transporting parcels is yet to be decided though, the official added.

The service will be launched by Chief Minister Ms. J. Jayalalithaa. We have selected one firm for handling the courier service. We have been conducting a trial run for the past few weeks,” said SETC officials. Last year, a similar service was introduced by the Coimbatore Transport Corporation on a pilot basis and it received a good response. “The corporation earned nearly Rs.26 lakh. After this, we decided to extend the service to other corporations too,” said the official.

The courier service will be very secure and there will be restrictions on the type of goods that can be transported by bus, say the SETC authorities. All items which are restricted for transportation by flight will be barred for the service too. All the goods will be properly scanned before being transported. “For us, passenger safety is of paramount importance,” said sources.

At present, the SETC has a total of 959 routes in which the courier service is expected to be introduced. The SETC earns nearly Rs. 1 crore per day as revenue and this has witnessed an increase of 35 per cent when compared to previous years. Officials feel this trend will continue after the introduction of courier service.

with regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Dec 2012.

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