Old Gandhi Hospital site for easing traffic

V. Geetanath
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Proposal to utilise the space by RTC

Land bank: The demolished old Gandhi Hospital. — PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU
Land bank: The demolished old Gandhi Hospital. — PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

With the proposed integrated bus terminal-cum-business centre at the old Gandhi Hospital in limbo, civic officials are at their wit's end on trying to decongest traffic at Secunderabad railway station and its surrounding roads.

With the mammoth Rs. 450-crore project being pushed into cold storage as no bids were received for the HMDA proposal, demands are being voiced for utilising the nine-acre space for use by the RTC so that the 1,500-odd buses could at least take a crucial U-turn there.

Officials argue that if the old Gandhi Hospital space is utilised properly, it would help decongest the Secunderabad railway station area which attracts a very high pedestrian movement too. Currently, the RTC has bus stops at different locations around Secunderabad station, which is the main hub. The traffic congestion is further worsened as the city buses have to take U-turns at different points, holding up the traffic all through the day.

The biggest conflict points for the traffic movement are at Rathifile, Gurudwara and Railway station entrances where buses turn around for different destinations every two minutes. “We can at least avoid all these conflict points so that vehicular traffic moves unhindered,” argues a civic official. Even one U-turn less would give massive relief.

There is some opposition from the RTC itself to the most feasible solution to traffic management here. Officials recall that the RTC's reluctance is based on the extra distance the buses would have to travel and the fuel consumption costs thereof. “They don't seem to realise that they burn more fuel in the sluggish movement of traffic,” they explain.

Civic officials now believe that the most feasible solution to decongest Secunderabad station area is in demolishing the old hospital building and using the vacant area for bus turnarounds.

“If the HMDA plans fructify, they can still take construction of an integrated terminal later”, reasons a senior official.

Four government departments - South Central Railway (SCR), APSRTC, Tourism Department and Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited- have staked claim to the site also.



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