Of makeshift bus stops and more
Bus stops across the City are in a shambles. In many places, there are no bus shelters at all, while there are other spots where makeshift stops have added to the misery of the travelling public. Here are some telling glimpses of the problem faced by the citizens.
Buses coming from Koramangala regularly stop at the KFC Junction on Indiranagar 100 Feet Road on their way to Old Madras Road. However, without a proper bus stop, commuters have been forced to stand on footpaths. “Multiple buses queue in to pick passengers at certain stops affecting traffic movement,” said a traffic policeman at the spot.
A little further on Old Madras Road, the situation is similar. “I usually take private buses to Hoskote. I have been waiting here for the past 20 minutes, but there is no seating arrangement at all. It would be better if bus stops have some decent sitting area,” said Sreejith, a commuter.
The road along the Baiyappanahalli railway tracks astonishingly does not have any bus stop. Just two stone benches. “The lane here is extremely small for even two cars to pass through. During peak hours, the situation becomes worse. You will not know which car is going inside the lane and which is going out in this two way traffic,” said Elango, a resident of the area. There are also a number of autorickshaws eternally parked along the lane. “They might cause clog traffic during the day or in the peak hours. But at around 10 pm or 11 pm, when no buses come this way, it is these autos that come in handy,” he said.
CNR Rao Junction
Around CNR Rao Junction near the Indian Institute of Science, a number of accidents have been reported due to the lack of a bus stop. The huge underpass work in progress has made the situation worse. Buses coming from JC Nagar take a dangerous blind turn on their way to Malleswaram and Yeshwantpur. “I have witnessed a bus run over the feet of a girl here,” said Kamala, a worker at the nearby post office.
Near the Indian Express junction, lack of a proper bus stop has left the management of the Parsi Fire Temple in a piquant situation. For years, they have asked the authorities to prevent people from using the area outside their compound as a bus stop. “Initially under the media glare, they sent some people to prevent parking of autorickshaws and stop people from waiting outside the temple gate. However, after a few days, it was back to square one,” Rushad, a relative of the priest at the Fire Temple, said. There is a bus stop a few feet away from the temple, but it is hardly used by people because no buses stop there.
Several bays are designated for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses in areas such as K R Circle, Richmond, Vijaynagar, Rajajinagar and Koramangala to avoid traffic snarls. But in most zones, neither passengers occupy it, nor do buses, especially the Volvo models, enter the bay.
Deepak Kallapu, an employee of a private company, said, “Bus drivers refuse to enter these zones claiming that the flow of traffic is heavy in that direction. So, passengers have no option but to breach the bay area and stand close to the oncoming traffic to board a bus.”
In several areas such as Mahalakshmi Layout and Goraguntepalya, where there are no designated bus stops, people flag down buses by standing either under the under-construction Metro station or trees. “Firstly, there aren’t any bus stops here. So, we have to flag down buses. Drivers usually go quite a distance from the designated stops before bringing the buses to a halt. It can be extremely difficult for the aged and the disabled to catch the bus,” said Imtiaz Ali, a resident of Mahalakshimi Layout.
A BMTC driver said, “People blame us for everything, but they must also know certain facts. For instance, we run according to a trip sheet drafted in the 1980s under which a driver is expected to cover Majestic-Chamarajpet in 25 minutes. How can anyone do that in the current scenario? That’s why, some drivers skip some stops if there are not many people waiting to board the bus or disembark.”