Thursday, June 26, 2008

Swanky bus stations on the horizon

Swanky bus stations on the horizon
S Praveen Dhaneshkar
To boost public transport usage, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) had proposed several TTMC (Traffic and Transit Management Centres) with 'Park and Ride' facilities. Deccan Herald takes a relook at the status of this project, which had promised to revolutionise the image and functionality of Bangalore's bus stations...

The project was designed to give a swanky look to the existing bus stations by remodelling them and constructing new bus terminals in other areas. Last year, BMTC proposed to utilise Rs 365 crore from a whopping Rs 3,000 crore transport infrastructure package granted to it under the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) to improve infrastructure of bus stations and give them a 21st century look.

The TTMC would house a multi-level parking lot, public utilities like mini-shopping centres, food courts, Bangalore One kiosks, ATMs et al. The Urban Development Department that approved the first TTMC at Jayanagar, a pilot project to be constructed at a cost of Rs 12.9 crore, is already under progress.

Says T K Palnetra Naik, Chief Engineer (Projects), BMTC: “The pilot TTMC has been completed to the tune of 35 percent. We commenced construction of the project in July 2007. It will be completed in February 2009. Construction of other TTMC’s will begin shortly.”

Seven TTMC’s would be built in Shanthinagar, Banashankari, Kengeri, Vijayananar, Yeshwantpur, Whitefield (ITPL) and Koramangala, under the phase one from JNNURM (35 percent funding from GoI, 15 percent funding from GoK and 50 percent funding from BMTC). The remodelling of other bus terminals would be taken up under the PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) model later.

BMTC is negotiating with the BBMP and the forest department to seek additional land to construct TTMC’s at Domlur and Bannerghatta in the second phase.

The DPRs for these projects were prepared by IDeCK (Infrastructure Development Corporation of Karnataka) and Sundaram Architects.

Here’s what a BMTC official had to say on the project: “The TTMC concept is unique in India, but popular in developed nations. It involves construction of swanky bus stations with an ambience reflecting a global feel. These stations will have a ‘Park and Ride’ facility for people to drive in, leave their cars/two-wheelers, board a bus and head for office. The idea is to offer facilities so as to decongest chock-a-block traffic. We would also ply mini buses/shuttle services from every major residential area to the nearest TTMC so that commuters could board a bus of their choice”.


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