Special Correspondent

Seven such stations to be built in Bangalore at a cost of Rs. 480 crore

Mass transport system to receive a boost

Centre to be urged to cut sales tax on public transport vehicles

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will build seven hi-tech bus stations in Bangalore at a cost of Rs. 480 crore, and work on them will begin in a week, Transport Minister R. Ashok has said.

He told presspersons here on Saturday that the hi-tech bus stands would come up in Shantinagar, Koramangala, Vijayanagar, Banashankari, Kengeri, Yeshwanthpur and ITPL. They would have shopping malls, restaurants, toilets, safe areas for passenger movement, adequate shelter from rain and sunlight and waiting rooms for women and children. The bus stands would be ready for operations in 21 months, he said.

The project will be funded by the Jawarahalal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the State Government and the BMTC.

At Yeshwanthpur, the new bus stand would be directly linked to the new flyover that is coming up at a cost of Rs. 5 crore. As many as 25 more such bus stands had been planned across the city. One would come up at the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL, on 2.5 acres of land.

The BMTC had begun negotiations with the BIAL for purchase of land at a cost of Rs. 3 crore an acre in the airport complex, Mr. Ashok said.

The Government was contemplating introducing mass transport system in a big way in the State.

In addition to Metro Rail, the department was exploring the options of using BMTC and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses for the mass transport system. For this purpose, the KSRTC and the BMTC together would need over 10,000 buses in the next five years. BTMC’s “Vayu Vajra” service to the airport had worked out well and many people were using the facility. I will request the Chief Minister to travel by a “Vayu Vajra” bus one of these days”, the Minister said.

Mr. Ashok said that a government delegation would meet the Prime Minister soon, and urge him to bring down sales tax on public transport vehicles from seven to two per cent. Sales tax in the public transport sector was low across the country. The Centre should provide tax incentives to Karnataka so that it could slash sales tax rates, he added.