Private bus operators at Kalasipalyam, who have been transporting commuters for about 60 years now, still await the day they will get a separate bus stand. There are about 250 private buses that ply daily between the City Market and nearby Hosur, Kolar, Magadi, Tumkur and Chikballapur.
The Kalasipalyam bus stand is crying for attention. Harried commuters trying to make their way through the chaos created by the KSRTC, BMTC and private buses, operating from the same area, point at the need for a major overhaul. But it seems like the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is in no hurry to do anything.
“The Kalasipalyam bus stand space belongs to the BBMP. We expected that the remodelling of the Shantinagar bus depot into a full-fledged bus terminus would pave way for the rejuvenation of the bus stand and also a new one for private bus operators here. Unfortunately, a separate bus stand for us has not materialised so far,” said G V Chandrashekar, proprietor, Vinayaka Motors Service. The erstwhile Bangalore City Corporation used to collect a fee of Rs 5 per day from each bus operator for using the stand. However, for the last two years no fee is being collected.
“Under the Municipal Corporation Act, it is the duty of the corporation to provide basic civic amenities at bus stands, as it is a public place (according to the Motor Vehicles Act). They have a right to collect bus stand fee provided they maintain it,” observed Ashwath Narayan, manager in a transport company.
The Transport Department that issues state carriage permits to these private buses renews it every five years. That apart, in spite of the private bus operators paying quarterly road tax and other ‘hidden taxes’ to various departments, the operators are deprived of a decent bus terminal. “Despite having valid permits, we end up spending Rs 3,000 monthly as bribes to various departments like the police, the RTO and squads. Operators who don’t have valid permits, would be shelling out double the amount,” informed Shankar, a private bus operator.
If the bus operators are having a bad time, it is not any easier on the commuters. Unhygienic, unkempt surroundings, with no provision for basic amenities greet commuters here. “The situation gets worse when it rains. The stand looks like a dirt track and it’s impossible to board a bus. People even skid and fall. The authorities are least bothered about safety,” fumed Rekha, a commuter.
Authorityspeak: Speaking to The Express, BBMP Commissioner S Subramanya said that the collection of bus stand fee at Kalasipalyam was suspended as it was to be repaired under a Public-Private Partnership initiative. “The renovation plan was prepared and the project was tendered for the same. However, the previous government didn’t clear the project,” the commissioner added. When asked about the separate bus terminal for private operators, Subramanya said that alternative arrangements have to be made for the KSRTC and the BMTC. “The government should take the decision on this matter. Then only we can provide a designated bus stand for private buses,” he said.
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