Monday, April 19, 2010

New bus shelters dismantled

New bus shelters dismantled

Chitra V. Ramani
Rising temperatures make it difficult for commuters

At some places even the seats have been removed

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

ORDEAL:People waiting at a commuter-unfriendly BMTC bus stop on Subramanyapura Main Road in Bangalore.
Bangalore: Rain or shine, there seems to be no respite for bus commuters in the city. If Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is introducing new initiatives, such as Bus Day, to get more people to take to public transport, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is making it difficult for the commuters.

Over the past month, the civic authority has removed several newly built bus shelters across the city. With the increasing day temperatures and sudden downpours, waiting for buses is an ordeal. Along with the shelters, even the seats have been removed.

“Perfectly good shelters have been removed. Thankfully, with summer vacations, children do not have to wait in the sun with their heavy school bags,” said Shanti M., who works in a private company. Vinay G.R., a marketing officer with a private bank, said that it is the wrong time for the civic authority to remove shelters. “It is now that commuters need bus shelters. Hopefully, the BBMP will see fit to complete the construction of new shelters,” he said.

A senior BBMP official said 400 shelters were constructed recently. Of these, several have been removed.

“We were unable to construct a few more due to various reasons, including road widening, objection by the public, not enough space for the shelters. A joint inspection of these areas was taken up by BBMP, BMTC and the Traffic Police,” the official said. The official added that the BBMP had called for tenders to re-construct 288 shelters under 11 different packages on “Develop, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer” basis in December 2009. So far, around 80 shelters have been completed.

“Work on setting up the new shelters in place of the ones removed is in progress. The new shelters cost around Rs. 4 lakh each, depending on the design and materials used,” he added. The official said following a recent Government Order BMTC would from now on set up the new shelters instead of the BBMP.

BMTC officials said they had no role to play in the removal of the bus shelters. They also said that new BMTC shelters will have drinking water kiosks, toilets, bus pass counters and canteens.


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