Friday, July 17, 2009

Bus station still a dream for Banashankari residents

Bus station still a dream for Banashankari residents

Work is delayed as the contractor is demanding more due to rise in the prices of steel & cement

Row with contractor and doubts over site delay work

Arunima Rajan. Bangalore



Residents were on cloud nine when the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) announced the construction of a bus stand in Banashankari 3rd Stage one-and-a-half years ago.
Their joy was short-lived. The structure is not ready yet. There are still no bus shelters in this area and the commuters have to stand waiting on the road.
The delay in the construction of the bus stand is linked to a dispute with the contractor who wants the construction cost to be revised due to hike in cement and steel prices. Another reason cited is the growing concern over the proposed site which, many think, may be flooded during monsoon rains.
"The contractor says his hands are tied due to the rise in prices of steel and cement. We've issued many notices to the contractor. But he has not started work yet. We may terminate his contract and issue fresh tenders," said Dileep, chief civil engineer of BMTC.
"The contractor is demanding more money to finish the work as prices of steel and other construction material have gone up," said KN Bhatt, member of the local residents' welfare association.
The site is located at the end of the 2nd Main, one-and-half-kilometres from Hoskerehalli Cross. "It is at the end of the valley. During rains, water from other roads will flow here and the concrete columns will rust. It will be a costly affair to maintain the bus stand. The possible solution is to shift the site to one of the parks in the area," said Nageshwar Rao, a retired IAS officer.
If the BMTC constructs the stand near Hoskarhalli Cross, it will help commuters as many of them board buses from this side.
The worst hit by the delay in the bus stand are local residents whose homes are located behind the existing bus stops.
"I can't drive in or drive out as about 10 to 15 buses are parked in front of my house during peak hours. We've to plead with BMTC drivers to move their vehicle to give us some way," said Gowrishankar R, a resident of Banshankari 3rd Stage.
There is a pedestrian subway near the proposed bus station site connecting the third stage to the main road. People are concerned whether the construction work would harm that structure.
"The delay is creating problems. Some minor accidents have happened recently," said SMR Prasad, president of local residents' welfare association.

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