Harrowing time for passengers as they try to locate their boarding points on over 70 platforms at the terminus
Enquiry counters, public address system insufficient
Those travelling in ‘special’ buses shell out extra fare
HYDERABAD: It was utter chaos at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) at Imliban on Monday as thousands of home-bound passengers found it hard to locate their boarding points on over 70 platforms at the station.
The enquiry centres and public address system at the terminus were not sufficient enough to guide the travellers. Carrying their luggage, senior citizens, especially women, were forced to run from pillar to post to locate the boarding points.
There are six public address system units at MGBS but they remained defunct for major part of the day. As a result, officers and employees had to use hand-held public address system.
By Monday evening, authorities roped in six “May I Help You” desks to help out commuters in addition to the existing three enquiry counters.
Passengers complained that the help desks functioned during the day, but there was none to guide them at nights.
Refuting the complaints, RTC Ranga Reddy Regional Manager, Ravindra Babu, said 200 officers and employees from other bus depots were specially deployed to disseminate information to passengers.
The RTC on Monday operated over 1,000 ‘special’ buses to different destinations from city, of which, majority were operated towards Vizag, East and West Godavari, Vijayawada and Guntur districts. Passengers travelling in these buses had to shell out extra fare for a single trip.
Despite paying extra, authorities failed to provide better service, passengers complained.
A majority of the vehicles were city buses, which had no doors and luggage space. “They just block the footboards with plastic sheets. In freezing cold, the chilly wind blows through the footboards. There’s no space to put baggage. It’s a nightmare,” fumed Koteswara Rao, a commuter recalling that he had a similar experience last year.
Meanwhile, people who visited MGBS to drop their friends and relatives had a tough time because of traffic congestion on the station premises. MGBS has only one entry and exit way, as a result serpentine queues of buses, auto-rickshaws, cars and bikes were witnessed on the station premises. Apart from the existing bridge from the Gowliguda-end, there were plans to construct another entrance bridge to facilitate the easy traffic flow. But despite repeated pleas, higher authorities were least bothered to check this problem, said an RTC official.