State Government | Karnataka - India | PID: 182367
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) drivers arbitrarily halting buses and causing traffic chaos may soon be a thing of the past. Dedicated bus bays and modern shelters are likely to come up on major roads and near Metro stations

Sources say chief secretary TN Vijay Bhaskar recently directed the BMTC to provide a list of all the bus stops in the city. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will build the bays and shelters, and BMTC drivers will have to stop and only within the bays

In cities like Delhi, dedicated bus bays have been created to help commuters — particularly women, senior citizens and the differently abled. Experts say dedicated bus bays are expected to reduce congestion. BBMP along with the traffic police had earlier set up bays, which turned into parking lots after drivers ignored them

BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said they would build bus bays at 10 locations, on the lines of the one near Mehkri Circle. “Once we get the locations from the BMTC, we will estimate the cost of construction and see how we can take the project forward,” he said

Currently, there are 14 bus bays across the city, while work on the 15th one, near Christ College, is being held up due to land acquisition issues. The owner is reluctant to give up his land

BMTC managing director V Ponnuraj said they will soon provide the list of bus stops to the BBMP. “The civic agency will set up bus bays wherever space is available,” he added

Only 500 of 2,212 shelters ready

The lack of bus shelters — which leads to passengers being exposed to the elements — is an example of the poor coordination between public transport agencies. The BMTC doesn’t even have the exact number of bus stops in the city; unofficial estimates put it at around 6,000. After a joint inspection by the BMTC and BBMP, the civic agency floated tenders almost three years ago for the installation of 2,212 bus shelters to replace the older, dilapidated structures

Of the proposed 2,212 shelters which were to be built by two contractors in exchange for advertisement rights, only 500 have been constructed while work on another 200 is on. The tender for the project comprises four packages, and one package for the construction of 550 shelters will be retendered as it was reserved for the SC/ST category. Work on the remaining 1,662 shelters is likely to be completed by March/April, said officials from the Palike’s traffic engineering cell

Passengers have been complaining about the shortage of bus shelters, saying a majority of the existing ones are in a terrible condition. Meanwhile, BMTC officials admit that they need to conduct a resurvey on the required number of shelters, and that they operate up to 25km beyond the outer limits of BBMP, where the condition is even worse

Ad display: Info board plan hits hurdle

BMTC’s plan to provide passenger information display boards, which offer real-time information on arrival of buses at designated stops, has hit a wall after the BBMP’s refusal to grant permission

While a part of the board will contain information on the bus timings, the contractor will be permitted to display advertisements on the remaining portion. It’s this display of advertisements that has rankled two ad agencies which have taken up the construction of shelters as they see it as an infringement of their rights

We are not opposing anything. One of the agencies that has bagged the tender for construction of shelters against advertisement rights has some reservations about the project. It’s worried that its ads will clash with those being displayed on the 4x4 sqft LED screen, and that it would be unfair for another agency to advertise in the same place over the same 20-year concession period. The LED screens may lead to vandalism, and there’s no clarity on who will pay Bescom for the electricity charges,” said an official from the Palike’s traffic engineering cell

| Updated on: 06 - Nov - 2018
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