If obtaining a ticket and seat is an ordeal during the current Sankranti season, for most passengers boarding buses at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) and Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) is no less arduous.
MGBS has been designed to provide parking space for 130 buses, which are driven to the respective platforms for commencing their trips, but these days nearly 250 and at times 275 buses are being parked and eventually the station gets choked up.
While drivers find it difficult to get the buses on to the respective platforms due to space constraint and limited platforms, buses heading out of the bus station are caught in traffic jams stretching along Chaderghat, Koti, Nampally and Afzalgunj areas, admit RTC officials.4,960 special buses
Everyday about 1.20 lakh passengers travel to different destinations from MGBS and this Sankranti season, authorities are operating 4,960 special buses, in addition to the 3,357 scheduled buses from the capital.
Though RTC officials set up “May I help you” counters at the station, most passengers complain about running from pillar-to-post to board their respective buses during festive seasons.
The JBS has been designed to provide parking space for 25 buses, but now close to 50 buses are being parked to meet the passenger rush, officials explained.
“MGBS as well as JBS were designed decades ago but now things have changed and authorities should look at developing alternate bus stations. It is a tough task to board buses at these stations,” complains Vishal Kumar, a private employee and a regular commuter.
Every Sankranti and Dasara festivals, authorities operate special buses and they are operated from Old Central Bus station (buses to Ongole, Kurnool, Kadapa etc), JBS (Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak etc), Uppal Crossroads (Warangal, Hanamkonda, Yadagirigutta) and Dilsukhnagar (Nalgonda, Miryalguda and Kodad) to ease traffic congestion at MGBS and JBS.Space crunch
Admitting space crunch at MGBS and JBS, RTC Greater Hyderabad zone Executive Director A. Koteswara Rao said the situation was much better this year as over 1,600 special buses were operated without touching MGBS.
This apart, everyday about 500 long-distance buses are operated from Kukutpally, Jeedimetla and other areas from the capital to different destinations without touching MGBS to avoid traffic jams. However, there is an urgent need to develop new stations at Kukatpally and L.B. Nagar for operating long-distance buses exclusively to ease traffic congestion at the station, he said.
“Land availability is the constraint. Three to four acres of land is required for constructing a single bus station and we have been requesting government for allotment but things are not materialising,” added Mr. Rao.