Travel operators at fault too

Travel operators at fault too

Over the years, they have expanded their fleet of buses manifold and extended their services to cities and towns far and wide, most of them emanating from Bangalore and yes, from Kalasipalyam. Yet, that expansion does not reflect in the transit facilities available for their passengers, whose numbers now run into thousands.

If the Government’s apathy shows in the pathetic infrastructure, the private operators too haven’t done much, although they could have made a difference collectively. The operators’ offices haven’t changed much over the years. Beyond ticket sales and luggage space for a few passengers, these offices are nothing much to talk about.

But the bus operators are fully aware of the problems, and they want the government to do something about it. Says Santhosh M S, Manager, Kallada Travels: “It is absolutely a dirty place. Puddles of water and filth are scattered all over the area. Even though thousands of passengers come here daily, we do not have proper amenities to meet their needs. It is high time that we should construct a comfort station and parking facilities for passengers. Parcel service should be made hassle-free with proper facilities.”

There are no proper parking facilities. Yet that doesn’t absolve the bus operators from parking the vehicles haphazardly. A newcomer could easily find himself in utter confusion searching for a bus from the maze of vehicles bound for Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai and a myriad other destinations. Says Sujatha, a frequent traveller: “Bus parking is not organised. We have to dodge the parcels and sometimes even the stray cattle in the area. Since a few liquor shops are found here, many antisocial elements make it their den late in the evening.”

According to Jaffer, Manager, Sharma Motors, BBMP personnel do not clean the area properly. “They have to place proper dust bins and should clean the area daily. Since we do not have any comfort station for interstate and intrastate passengers, it should be constructed on a war footing,” said Jaffar.

Yasser, a passenger, has had enough experience of the hassles involved. “If we have many pieces of luggage, we will have to go to the transporter’s garage to deposit them and then take the family to the boarding point at Kalasipalayam. If both facilities are provided at the same place, it will be of great help. Also, while waiting for buses, passengers have to stand on the pavements or on the roads gaping at speeding vehicles and the stray cattle,” he said.

It is high time that authorities think of setting up four or five unified transport hubs near the city, said Keshav Iyengar. “To meet the ever-growing demands of the City, we should construct a few transport hubs. It is better that these hubs have railway, metro and BMTC, inter and intra-state private and government bus services in the vicinity,” said Iyengar.