With muck, sludge, garbage and more dogs and cattle loitering around than people, Kalasipalyam bus-stand — a transit point for those coming into the city — resembles a dump yard. Even the basic requirements for a bus-stand — shelter, footpaths, seating, drinking water amenities, clean toilets and proper roads for buses to ply on — are missing.
Sitting on a stone while waiting for a bus, Rathnish Shinde from Madhya Pradesh said: “There is filth everywhere. For a city that is clean and developed everywhere else, it is surprising that a major bus-stand looks like this.”
Heaps of garbage from rotting vegetables and fruits — cast away by the nearby K.R. Market — are a major concern. Garbage is everywhere, and a black sludge coats the area. “The stink is awful and I thank God we have to spend less than 10 minutes here,” said a disgusted bus driver who didn't want to be named.
Thick muck lines the sides of the roads, making it difficult for pedestrians. Those waiting for a bus are stuck dangerously between the mess and buses plying on the narrow roads.
Apart from commuters, vendors too suffer. “The stench is unbearable and the surroundings are so dirty. Not surprisingly, no one would want to buy anything here,” said Sushila, a fruit vendor. The lack of a viable alternative forces vendors to hawk their wares here.
Calling the area Galeejpalya, V.M. Prakash, who for the last 10 years has been driving a bus between the city and Palamaner, said: “Even the bus-stand in Palamaner (a small town in Andhra Pradesh) is much better.” Even as he said this, the rear bumper of a private bus fell off when it juddered over a deep pothole.
The mess stems from a long-standing disagreement between two government agencies — the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The land, which belongs to the BBMP, was to have been developed jointly by them to have a multi-storeyed bus stand-cum-commercial complex. However, the plan is yet to be approved as both the BBMP and BMTC are engaged in a blame game over the delay.
BBMP sources squarely blamed the BMTC for the delay and consequent mess. “No development is happening here because BMTC has still not signed the joint agreement. BMTC officials don't even meet our officials regularly to discuss the problematic clauses. Instead, they keep deferring the decision on the issue.”
Meanwhile, the BMTC sources pointed fingers at the BBMP claiming the civic authority's initial proposal was “unsuitable”. “We will seek government approval as soon as the BBMP incorporates modifications that we suggested. Construction will be taken soon after,” a senior official said.