Double shelters confuse people

Shelterless take refuge at old bus shelters ; turn it into makeshift homes

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) celebrated its 11th bus day in the city on Thursday with the main objective of popularising use of public transport by bringing bus travel nearer to passengers.

But in reality, travelling by bus especially, KSRTC, is becoming a confusing affair with almost every bus stop sporting two bus shelters. Not only this, the old bus stops are being slowly occupied by homeless people — turning it into a comfortable place to live in, leaving little place for those choosing buses as a mode of transport.

As part of the bus day, the route selected by KSRTC on February 9 was CBS to L&T and the frequency of buses were increased for the benefit of passengers. But the passengers on the route are inconvenienced due to the presence of two bus shelters opposite Akashvani just in front of Cheluvamba Park.

Some of the passengers — attracted by the comfortable granite seats — were waiting patiently at the new bus shelter, but the bus plying from the Central Bus Stand halted at the old bus stop. Seeing this, the passengers walked up to the old bus shelter — to make sure that they do not miss the next bus too.

To their dismay, the driver of the next bus chose to stop at the newly-built bus shelter. Confused passengers — not knowing where to wait for the bus — finally stood on the road in between both the shelters so that they can sprint to any one of them, defeating the sole purpose of constructing bus shelters at a cost of lakhs of rupees.

Another problem is many shelterless people taking refuge at old bus shelters which are almost in a dilapidated state. The above mentioned old bus stop has turned into a temporary home with beggars occupying the space with portraits of gods, a dustbin, complete with a rangoli in front of the shelter. This is not an isolated case as many bus shelters in the city can be seen occupied by the shelterless at night.

When contacted M N Srinivas, KSRTC divisional controller (Urban), said the works on constructing of bus shelters have been expedited and will be completed soon. Once it is over, old bus shelters would be demolished and there will be no confusion. 

He assured to direct the bus drivers to stop at the specific stop and prevent inconvenience to passengers. But as the bus shelters comes under the purview of the Mysore City Corporation, it has to take the final call on the removal, he said. Srinivas expressed happiness over the increasing popularity of bus day and the revenue generated. Several attempts to contact MCC commissioner K S Raykar to draw his attention towards the  problem proved futile.

ITS goes kaput
The digital board that was installed on pilot basis as part of intelligent transport system (ITS) that displays the arrival time of buses, at five places including Yadavagiri some months back has gone defunct.

Commenting on the issue, M N Srinivas said the system has been temporary stalled and by the end of March 2012 all the 150 bus stops in the city would be installed with digital boards for the convenience of commuters.

This might also help in identifying the right bus stop, if the MCC delays in removing the old bus shelters, he said.  A new bus depot is under construction at Vijayanagar IV stage and will be the fourth depot in the city, he added.

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