BENGALURU: The skywalk at the Kempegowda Bus Station or Majestic Bus Station, which thousands use to cross bus bays and reach platforms, is still being renovated. It is also how passengers reach the inter-state bus terminal and the subway linked to the City Railway (KSR) Station. At present, the ‘skywalk’ stands closed and pedestrians talk of the frustratingly long wait for it to open once more.
In January, when the news of renovation was announced, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation promised to complete the work in four months. Today, it has been nearly 10 months.
Regular commuters are angry. “I need to go towards Movieland Theater so I have to cross through all the platforms and a busy road,” says Padmavathi, a regular from RT Nagar. Narayana S, a senior citizen from Vijayanagar, says, “We can’t run fast to cross before a speeding bus... the traffic cops must be more helpful.”
Crossing the platforms is also a nightmare for passengers headed to City Railway Station. Thamil Selvi is in Bengaluru from Erode and says that crossing the bus station to reach the railway terminal is nearly “impossible”. She too, like Narayana, asks traffic cops to be more proactive.
Ravi Kumar, from Hulimavu, is seen struggling to cross the terminus with two heavy bags. “I have to make sure my children are safe too,” he says. “The bus drivers don’t stop or even slow down.”
The drivers say they are helpless. Rajkumar, a bus driver, says, “We have to get around sharp turns and potholes and we may not see the pedestrians when we drive in.” Kamalesh, another driver at the station, suggests that pedestrians cross in groups. “If we see a group, we can stop for them.”
A nearby tea stall vendors sagely says that pedestrians were always scuttling through bus bays, without taking the skywalk. “But last two weeks have been worse.”
The traffic department says that the chaos in the bus station is not their headache. R Hithendra, Additional CP (Traffic), says, “Our responsibility is to ease the entry and exit of buses into and from the bus station. Inside the terminal, the BMTC has to provide better facilities for the passengers.” The BMTC was unavailable for comment.
Traffic expert MN Sreehari says that whoever is in charge should plan alternatives. “The BMTC can appoint guards to help the commuters.”