No roof to stand under

No roof to stand under

Buses play an important role in Bangalore. Many people are dependent on the transportation provided by the BMTC to reach their various destinations. But one problem that has been persistent in the City is the lack of proper shelter at the bus stops.

In the blazing sun or heavy monsoon, a commuter has to suffer without a roof over his or her head, while waiting for a bus. Metrolife speaks to people who face this problem day in and day out.

“The bus stop near my house at Kumaraswamy Layout does not have a shelter. When it starts to rain, I run to a tea stall that’s there nearby. And every time the bus passes, I have to shout at the top of my voice to get it to stop. It never works, though. It is very difficult. A bus shelter would be a relief,” says Vasundhara, a commuter.

The situation becomes unbearable when one is not in good health. Ashwati, a student of Jain University, says, “My college is located on J C Road. Every day, my classes get over by 1 pm. In that heat, I have to go to the bus stop near Town Hall, where there is no bus shelter. And on the days that I am unwell, my mouth feels parched and I do not have any strength. Those are the times I wish there was a bus shelter and a place to sit.”

This issue is also quite inconvenient for the elderly. While youngsters have the strength to handle this discomfort, the elderly find it very difficult.

Pooja, an engineer, says, “I stay near Uttarahalli and there is no bus shelter there. Somehow, I manage in uncomfortable weather. But I am bothered about my grandfather. Being elderly, he should not be made to go through these problems, that can be avoided.”

The construction of bus shelters has been assigned to the BBMP, which further assigns the work to various agencies through a bidding process.  “There are more than 2,500 bus stops, but there are only around 600 bus shelters. The construction of bus shelters has been handed over to the BBMP. We also sent them an appeal to construct bus shelters in most of the places. That appeal is under review. If they fail to construct them, we will do it by ourselves,” says C Nagaraj, chief traffic manager, BMTC.

Even as many places do not have a single bus shelter, one can observe the existence of multiple shelters at a single stop. This could be due to the fact that the BBMP profits from advertising on these boards. C Nagaraj adds, “In many places, there are multiple bus shelters.

The BBMP gets paid for every advertisement that is displayed on a bus shelter. That is one of the reasons why we see so many bus shelters at a single stop.” He adds, “The other reason for multiple shelters could also be the heavy crowd that is there at that stop.”

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