Basic facilities need of the hour

Basic facilities need of the hour

Passengers who travel by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses never fall short of complaints.

Irregular timings, leaking buses and unscientific bus stops are only some of the problems they face every day.

To provide some respite to the passengers, the BMTC had set up the Traffic and Transit Management Centres (TTMCs), which revamped the look of bus terminals. With this, the BMTC also planned to earn some revenue. However, this project proved to be little successful. The TTMCs have been receiving lukewarm responses ever since their inauguration in 2011.

For instance, Bhagya, a garment factory worker near Kengeri, says waiting in
Kengeri for a bus is extremely difficult.

She explains, “There is no proper bus stand here and the private buses create a havoc. They stop on request and one doesn’t know where exactly to wait for a bus. Also, not all buses stop inside the TTMC. There is always confusion as different buses have stops in different places. Nobody from the BMTC is there to look into all this.”

Like many passengers who are looking for solutions, she too says there is a need for a better bus stop here.

She adds, “If the government comes up with a new bus stand here, it should
concentrate on not repeating the mistakes it made. A new bus stand should not only
provide shelter, but even other basic facilities, which is the need of the hour.”
Adding to the woes of passengers are the safety issues in the TTMCs. Jewel, a native of Kerala, finds it tough to wait at the Banashankari TTMC after dark.

“I work for an online store and usually travel by cabs. However, the few times that I have used this bus terminal, I have noticed that this place is not safe for working women. Sometimes when it’s dark, there are drunk men trying to board a bus or get a chair to take a nap. Nobody monitors such situations.” She says the BMTC should keep such situations in mind and inculcate safety measures in its
future projects.

While there are so many issues at the TTMCs, the BMTC has proposed to set up Passenger Amenity Centres (PACs) in four areas — Yelahanka, Kengeri, Bagalkunte and Hessarghatta (village) — at a cost of Rs 10 crore, Rs eight crore, Rs seven crore and Rs one crore respectively.

Explaining the concept, PK Palanetra Naik, chief engineer of projects, BMTC, says, “The TTMC was set up keeping five components in mind — bus terminal, basement parking, maintenance of buses, passenger facility and public parking. The PAC will serve lesser purpose. It will not facilitate maintenance of buses and basement parking. The PAC is more like a mini-version of the TTMC. Also, to the advantage of BMTC, the land required for PAC is much lesser when compared to TTMCs.”

The Passenger Amenity Centre aims to provide better basic facilities, says Veeregowda, general manager, BMTC. “Commuters have no proper bus shelters in Kengeri and are forced to stand on the road. The nearest TTMC is about five km from there. Hence, there was a need for PAC. Also, the situation is no different in Yelahanka and Bagalkunte. For many years, people have been requesting for bus stands here. This project is being considered to meet these needs.”

Not just shelter, commuters can expect more from the PAC. He says, “The PAC will have toilet and cafeteria facilities. Bangalore One Centres, HOPCOMS and milk parlours may come up in the future.” Passengers can only hope that the Passenger Amenity Centres will address the long-standing complaints.

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