Travelling from here is a risky proposition

Travelling from here is a risky proposition

Bangaloreans, who are regulars to Kalasipalya, seem resigned to their fate even as plans to improve the condition of the area is taking much time to see the light of the day.
Making matters worse is the haphazard parking of private buses in the area. The lack of space and the absence of scientifically designed terminal only add to the woes of both drivers and commuters. As a result, traffic jams are a frequent phenomenon.

Shivakumar, who travels regularly in private buses, says: “I travel almost every month. It is a difficult task to even reach this area. Finding the right bus is almost impossible.”
Indeed, most travellers have to rely on touts to find their bus. In the resultant melee, many miss their luggage and valuables.

The bus stand is in desperate need of a makeover. A modern structure along the lines of the Shivajinagar Bus Terminal could make travelling a more comfortable experience. Currently, there is only one toilet for the thousands who make their way to Kalasipalya.

There are no seating facilities or dustbins. Even a basic shelter to protect passengers from the sun is not provided. Footpaths have been taken over by street vendors, and families standing in filth waiting for a bus is a common sight.

Kuppamma, a fruit vendor, says the lack of any permanent structure has forced her to sell fruits on the street. However, she considers herself lucky to have a temporary shelter.

Raghu, who sells his wares in buses and on road, says, “Often, buses are packed with people who travel standing through the entire journey. It is very difficult to sell my products in such conditions. I have often lost more than I have gained. I only wish I had a stall here.”

Many like Raghu believe that a semi-permanent stall can bring them profit.
Conditions at night differ widely from day. Most passengers travel overnight to destinations in neighbouring states. This results in longer waits for boarding and disembarking. The absence of a terminal results in many passengers boarding their bus on the road, sometimes on the run. This endangers both the lives of passengers and motorists.

Baba, an autorickshaw driver, says many accidents occur in the area, especially at night. “When buses are about to leave, there is a lot of confusion. Accidents frequently occur when travellers rush to catch a bus.”

However, most bus conductors and drivers are appreciative of the traffic police. Says Mani, “The police are doing a good job. However, this area needs more policemen. It is impossible for a few policemen to keep this area in order.”

To add to commuter woes, the lack of a drainage system leads to flooding after even a mild shower. Filthy water stagnating in numerous potholes is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and water-borne diseases. This could have been different had the planned projects taken off. Fairoz Pasha, a conductor, laments that although the plan for a modern bus station received sanction a year ago, work is yet to start.

If the proposed project is to be a success, several factors need be included in its implementation. A well-constructed shelter for passengers with a provision for bookings and arrival and departure notifications is first on the list. Seating facilities, toilets and dustbins would be an added bonus.

A proper system for arrival and departure of buses must be established so as not to affect traffic.