Lack of bus shelters leaves RTC passengers at the mercy of nature

It is not for nothing that the civic body is dubbed ‘baldiya – khaya, piya, chaldiya’.

The one-liner clearly sums up all that is wrong with the GHMC.

Take for instance the bus shelters it is supposed to maintain to ensure a hassle free journey to Hyderabadis. If anything they leave the commuters shelter less and at the mercy of nature.

Of the 41 bus shelters between Mehdipatnam and Lingampally, only six have lighting and 18 flooring. As many as 30 bus shelters don’t display route numbers leave alone GIS digital display and solar lighting.

Worse, not even a single bus shelter has route map, and five are even devoid of seating facility. No wonder commuters are left high and dry and groping for information.

In Hyderabad the bus shelters are provided by the GHMC through the PPP mode under design, finance, build, maintain and transfer (DBMT) scheme. The concerned ad agencies are expected to provide sufficient lighting in the bus shelters, two big dustbins, proper flooring, install GIS digital display to provide information, exhibit bus numbers and routes and arrange solar lighting. All this, of course, exists only in the tender documents.

While the ad agencies cock a snook at the GHMC throwing the rules to winds, the latter is not bothered to levy fine as provided under the law. ‘It’s Time to Make a Difference’, sure.

That’s what a voluntary organisation by that name is trying to do. Relentless pursuit by it through RTI has resulted in these dismal details coming to light.

GHMC admits to ‘deficient facilities’ and mentions issue of notices for rectification. ITMD has taken up cudgels on behalf of the commuters since 2009. But the GHMC remained unmoved and hesitant to issue notices to the erring contractors.

It is only after ITMD approached Lokayutka in March that the civic body started showing belated concern in the matter.

The second hearing on the issue is scheduled on August 30.

“Even now GHMC is merely issuing notices instead of imposing fine of Rs. 2,000 per day on the contractors for failure to provide basic amenities to commuters”, deplores Y. Panasa Rama Krishna, the man who has made the civic body wake up.

There are about 1,500 bus shelters in the city and 85 per cent of them lack in facilities. In some places bus shelters exist in proximity causing confusion to commuters while there are no bus shelters where required, Mr. Krishna says and suspects collusion between the officials and contractors.

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