Udupi, June 29,2017: It is sternly reported that 9 months after the introduction of low-floor government city buses amid much fanfare, the temple city of Udupi still does not have a proper Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) city bus stand.
Passengers have to wait for the low-floor government city buses at a shelter-less ground belonging to the KSRTC, while the private city bus stand, which is just a few metres away, has all the facilities, including bus shelters.
The lack of even temporary shelters at the KSRTC or the Government City Bus Stand means that people waiting for buses have to perforce open their umbrellas when it rains.
According to K. Damodar Aithal, convener of the Udupi Consumers Forum, a permanent KSRTC city bus stand was required for passengers. Since the construction of a permanent bus stand will take time, the authorities should at least put up some temporary bus shelters on the open ground.
“The lack of any shelters makes it difficult for senior citizens, women and children to wait for buses. How long can one wait with umbrellas open in heavy rain? There are no toilets there either,” he said.
A conductor on a government city bus said that there was no rest room for bus drivers or conductors. “We work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but have no rest room. We can attract more passengers if some shelters are provided,” he said.
To construct a government city bus stand, the district administration handed over 34 cents land belonging to the Department of Public Instruction, where the Old DDPI Office stood, to the KSRTC in the second half of 2015. The Old DDPI Office has since been demolished.
KSRTC response : The Department of Transport has decided to construct a government city bus stand here at a cost of Rs. 4 crore. Jayashanth, Mangaluru Divisional Traffic Officer, KSRTC, told The Hindu that technical bids for the construction of the bus stand were opened on June 20.
“The bids are being scrutinised. After they are finalised, the financial bids would be opened and orders would be placed. The process will take about a month to be completed,” he said.
Guruprasad, Executive Engineer, KSRTC, Bengaluru, said that the government bus stand would be ready within a year after the orders were placed.