BENGALURU: Residents of a locality are hopeful of public transport connectivity whenever a bus shelter is inaugurated. But their happiness is short-lived as few months down the line, the new bus shelter is either in a dilapidated condition, becomes a garbage dump, a spot for vendors to sell street food or even a shelter for the homeless. With the merciless sun blazing down on the commuters this summer, many have no choice but to brave the sun as these shelters are not an option.
Vinay Kumar, a resident of Basaveshwarnagar, said bus shelter on Water Tank Road was inaugurated in the beginning of 2018 with the local MLA putting up his poster to claim credit. “A few months later, it looked broken down. The lamination from the display boards is coming off. There used to be lights but those too went missing soon after it was constructed. This is just a scam for local officials to put up advertisements. It does not benefit the local residents who want to commute using BMTC buses,” Kumar complained, adding that even when initially built, a shoddy job was done.
While Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) runs the buses, it is the BBMP’s responsibility to build the shelters on the roads. A similar complaint was voiced by Anilkumar, a resident of Jalahalli. “Two to three years ago, BBMP built two Jalahalli cross bus shelters in Peenya 1st stage, on the footpath. One and a half years ago, they built a public toilet adjacent to it. No civic authority maintained either of them. Now people urinate even outside the block, stinking up the place,” Anilkumar said, further adding, “Bus drivers notice this and do not stop here anymore. They drive till the Tumkur National Highway and stop there instead, and commuters run to that spot.”
Not only is this dangerous for the commuters, but the moving traffic is also obstructed by the random stopping of BMTC buses. In Basvanagudi, BS Manohar finds that a bus shelter in NR colony is a hub for street vendors.“In the morning there is a vendor who sells coconut water and in the evening chaat vendors come and sell street food. Where is the place for a bus commuter to stand? Moreover, they built a large bus stand nearby, so people walk up to board there instead. This is a waste of public money,” he said.
Pranay Dubey said the bus stop near Carmelaram post office on Sarjapur main road is a garbage dumping spot. While the seats are properly built and the structure by itself is fine, the dumping of trash discourages commuters from using the stop. People try to board the buses on the main road instead.
When asked about the same, an official from the BBMP’s traffic engineering cell said, “We are not aware of such a problem. The public should bring it to our notice. While BBMP builds the shelter, we enter into a 20 year lease with an advertising agency and give them the rights. This is a public private partnership model and it is up to them to maintain it. If we receive any complaints of poor maintenance, we will send them a notice.”