Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Majestic underpass makes transport minister see red

Majestic underpass makes transport minister see red

Bangalore: It just took one phone call to transport minister R Ashoka for him to swing into stern action.
Following a complaint on problems faced while using the underpass at the bustling Majestic bus stand, he suddenly decided to check things out for himself on Tuesday. The visit left him “shocked and disappointed” as he unearthed filth, encroachment and, what’s worse, official apathy.
The upset minister ordered the BBMP commissioner to suspend three engineers for failing to do their duty. He also vented his anger on some officials for poor maintenance of the bus stand, specially the underpass. “On Monday, I got a call from a woman who complained that the underpass was inconvenient and unsafe for women. That’s when I decided to come here,’’ he said.
He checked the underpass thoroughly and was shocked to see encroachments by vendors. He also scrutinized vendors’ documents which showed that their shops were legitimate. But he didn’t buy their argument. He also checked a dry well covered with garbage and vendors on footpaths.
The furious minister said: “For whom is this underpass built? Every day, lakhs of people commute by buses and trains, not only from Karnataka but other states too. What’s the image they take with them? The encroachers are hand-inglove with lower-ranked officials. There are several pickpockets too and women have a tough time here.’’ He has also directed BBMP officials keep the place clean and take strict action against wrong-doers. “I feel bad that people have to put up with this. This is meant for the people and they shouldn’t face problems,’’ he said.
Admitting lapses in the system, he assured that he would ensure the footpaths are cleared, lights fixed and debris cleared. “Security will also be increased. I have directed the BBMP commissioner to prepare an action plan within a week. I want to put an end to all this,’’ he said.


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