The suburban bus-stand in the city, completed with funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), came under flak from the elected representatives, who alleged that the original plan had been changed with emphasis on commerce rather than passenger amenities.
The suburban bus-stand is the main spot for inter-State and intra-State services of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Built and modernised at a cost of Rs. 23.53 crore, it was inaugurated on September 10, 2010.
But Minister for Medical Education S.A. Ramdas and A.H. Vishwanath, Mysore MP, who paid a visit to the bus-stand on Monday, cited violation of norms and dilution of passenger amenities for pursuing commercial gains.
Mr. Ramdas noted that the cloak room meant for travelling public had been shifted to the basement, and the waiting room had been let out to retail shopkeepers. He said shifting the cloak room defied logic as elderly citizens and general public, who would be tired after a strenuous journey, would not want to lug their luggage to the basement for depositing it there. Mr. Ramdas directed the officials to submit the original plan to him, and instructed the officials to rectify the lacunae.
Mr. Vishwanath was upset with the “lopsided” priorities of the authorities, and complained that passenger comfort had not been given priority.
The KSRTC was more keen on earning revenue from the commercial complex constructed at the bus terminal, he alleged.
He rued the absence of rest rooms and other facilities for bus drivers and conductors, and alleged that the contactors were riding roughshod over the KSRTC and the public.
It was also noted that the food at the local restaurant was expensive and beyond the reach of the common people while soft drinks were being charged at a rate higher than the maximum retail price. The Minister conducted a meeting with the KSRTC officials and sought a detailed report and clarifications on some of their findings during the spot inspection. The KSRTC authorities were directed to inquire into the complaints pertaining to vehicle parking.
Mr. Ramdas will convene a meeting with Deputy Commissioner P.S. Vastrad to set right the anomalies. The meeting will be held some time next week.
Outer Ring Road
Mr. Ramdas and Mr. Vishwanath also inspected the ongoing work of Outer Ring Road, which is being implemented under the JNNURM at a cost of Rs. 239 crore. The team was apprised of the progress, and given an assurance that the work would be completed by June.