No bus connectivity at Banaswadi station

No bus connectivity at Banaswadi station
After years of struggle, the Banaswadi railway station is finally getting some critical amenities. But BMTC bus connectivity remains a distance dream, leaving passengers at the mercy of autorickshaws and the new taxi option.

Equipped with two platforms, the station will soon get a foot overbridge. There are food stalls, adequate lighting and the platform is long enough to accommodate even Express trains. The halts permitted for many long distance trains and introduction of the special passenger DEMU train between Yeshwanthpura and Hosur has accelerated the station’s development. 

But there is no bus stop or a terminal in the station’s vicinity. The closest bus stops are in Lingarajapuram and Jaibharathnagar. These are at quite a distance from the station, and walking till there is not an option particularly for senior citizens with their luggage. A railway personnel informs the stops are at least one to two km away from the station.

The station has more than 10 halting trains and caters to hundreds of passengers everyday. Those going towards Kerala, Chennai and Coimbatore rely on this station heavily.

Mani Vannan, a passenger who regularly commutes to Chennai, explains the problem in a nutshell: “I stay near Hennur Depo and have to take the Lingarjapuram route. It takes me 15 to 20 minutes by walk to reach the bus station at Lingarajapuram. I don’t take autos as they charge higher rates. It would be good if the railways and BMTC together take up the initiative to set up a bus terminal near the railway station.”

Bad roads and the stalled Lingarajapuram underpass construction near railway line makes it dangerous to walk towards the bus stop, adds Mani Vannan.

Another regular passenger, Ambika Menon feels that dealing with autorickshaw drivers is a dicey affair as they pester passengers while walking by. Since the station attracts a big chunk of people from the city central, the railways should be more proactive in seeking bus connectivity. “It is impossible for women like us to walk all the way to the station, carrying children,”Menon adds.

However, a railway official contends on condition of anonymity that the roads leading to the station are all narrow. Thus, he says, the question of having a bus terminal there does not arise.

But Maruthi Seva Nagar Corporator Hanna Bhuvaneshwari recalls that three years back, the present Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George -- who also represents Sarvagnanagar constituency-- had taken a step to start a bus route near the station.

A few buses were also introduced, she claims. “The buses plied mostly towards Cox Town and Shivajinagar. However, the response was not up to the mark and hence, the project was withdrawn after few days,” says Bhuvaneshwari.   

Meanwhile, a few commuters have teamed up against the autorickshaw drivers taking the overcharging matter to social media. The Baiyappanahalli railway police staff recently conducted a drive against the menace. However, as many passengers reiterate, the problem persists!  

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