Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Majestic stand face-lift after Metro work end

Majestic stand face-lift after Metro work ends

People should be able to use BMTC buses to reach terminals from where KSRTC buses ply

Shwetha S

Metro work is set to begin at the Kempe Gowda or Majestic terminal of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Gaurav Gupta, managing director of KSRTC, spoke to Shwetha S about the preparations and challenges ahead.

Despite the fact that the Metro project will begin work at the Kempe Gowda bus station soon, there is little to show that the other terminals, to which services are meant to shift, are ready.
We have already begun construction of terminals in different parts of the city. We expect the NGF terminal to be ready in a month's time. We have plans to tie up with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and the Traffic and Transit Management Centres (TTMCs) to share some space with buses of the KSRTC too. People should be able to use BMTC buses to reach terminals from which KSRTC buses will ply.

The very notion of a bus terminal conjures up images of crowds, grime and stinking platforms. What are you doing to change that?
We agree that bus terminals in many parts are known for unhygienic facilities. We will change that, though. You will only have to visit the satellite bus station at Mysore Road, or the renovated station in Mysore. These are well-maintained, the toilets are clean, there are drinking water facilities, hygienic food is served there, and the passenger information systems work smoothly.
If people would only visit the newer stations, they would be more reassured of the quality of the work being done. We have plans to build modern bus stations in Mangalore, Hassan and Shimoga too. If modernisation work has not yet started at the Kempe Gowda terminal, it is because we have been anticipating the Metro work. Once that is over, we have plans to renovate the whole of the Kempe Gowda station.

What happened to the introduction of Mercedes Benz buses, announced three months ago?
We are still in the process of negotiation. No final decision yet.

Do you plan any initiatives related to the environment in future?
We have already been using honge or karanja oil, a biofuel, along with diesel in all our buses. We routinely check smoke emission levels from all our vehicles, and we have instituted a way in which the public can contribute to ensure that our vehicles are not highly polluting – Rs1,000 is awarded to anyone who identifies a vehicle spewing out smoke.

Tell us about future projects.
We would like to use more IT in our services, including the use of geographical positioning systems (GPS), so that vehicle movement can be monitored. We are also planning the procurement of electronic bus ticketing machines, hardware for advanced ticketing and upgrading of depots in various districts and taluks.

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