Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Route changes leave commuters in lurch

Route changes leave commuters in lurch
By Satish Shile and Monica Jha, DH News Service, Bangalore:
The Bangalore Metropolitan Road Transport Corporation (BMTC) has suddenly changed its bus routes in and around MG Road without any official notification.

Trying to catch bus on MG Road? Give up hope because the Bangalore Metropolitan Road Transport Corporation (BMTC) has suddenly changed its bus routes in and around MG Road without any official notification.

Those of you dependent on BMTC buses to reach Majestic and Shivajinagar, be prepared to walk at least one and half kilometres to catch a bus.

Majestic-bound buses plying from KR Puram and Ulsoor, which earlier used to pass through Mayo Hall and stop at Garuda Mall, now go straight to Richmond Road, without entering MG Road.

Similarly, Shivajinagar-bound buses coming from Ulsoor now take a right turn at Trinity Circle and pass through Commercial street. Earlier, they used to enter MG Road and take a right turn to Kamaraj Road at Cauvery Emporium.

This has caused a great inconvenience to people, whose office is on MG Road. Dhananjay, who works in Manipal Centre, said, “A few months ago, I used to get BMTC buses near Central Mall. Later, the stop was shifted near Garuda Mall and now, it has been further shifted beyond that. I have to walk more than two kms to catch a bus.
Otherwise, I have to go Shivajinagar, which is again 2 kms away from my work place.”

A few K R Market and Majestic-bound buses cross all the BMTC stops at Mayo Hall, without stopping anywhere in between. Only a few buses stop at the bus stop adjacent to Karnataka Football Association (KFA) near Garuda Mall. “I’ve been waiting for a bus to Majestic for half an hour,” said Shivakumar from Vijayanagar, waiting at KFA stop. On Tuesday, between 2:10 pm to 2:40 pm, 362C was the only bus that halted at this stop.|

And it is not just the commuters who complain about the change in bus routes, Garuda Mall Managing Director Uday Garudachar has also taken exception to that.

“I see many people struggling to get either bus or autorickshaw in front of our mall everyday. Earlier there was a bus stop in front of our mall. But recently it was shifted.” he said.

Shelter, no stop

A BMTC bus shelter has been set up on Commissariat Road opposite to Ashoknagar Police Station, but no bus stops there. Nirmala, a resident of Srinagara, who came to MG Road on Tuesday, said, “Policy makers do not take pedestrians into consideration. Even autorickshaw drivers refuse to come to a near-by bus stand due to short distance,” she added.

A BMTC bus shelter on Brigade Road has a similar fate. Ankur Garg, resident of Richmond Town said, “I came to Eva Mall last Sunday and waited for a bus at this stop for at least 45 minutes in vain.”

Chief Traffic Officer of BMTC Dastagir Sharief holds traffic police responsible for changes in routes. “We changed the bus stops following the request from the traffic police. We have a very limited role to play. If people suggest any alternative and the traffic police accept it we are ready to bring in changes,” he said.

DCP traffic (East) said that the changes on routes have been done in the wake of the on-going Metro work.

The Metro is occupying 8 mtr of the road. If BMTC buses are allowed as they were before, it will result in utter chaos on the road. “However we are aware of the problem faced by pedestrians and those who do not have private vehicles. We have been looking into realignment of bus routes keeping public convenience in mind. Things will change in the days to come,” he added.


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