Till Monday, when you rolled over the images of Thiruvananthapuram in your mind, what would come up was either the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple or the Napier Museum or the Secretariat - all belonging to a bygone era. From now on, an elegant 12-storey structure at Thampanoor belonging to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would become the ‘profile picture.’
The much-awaited KSRTC Central Bus Terminal at Thampanoor was inaugurated on Monday by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
“This monumental complex has become the face of the capital city. The transport corporation now does not have the pomp and glory it once possessed. It is not a profit-oriented service and functions for the welfare of people. The government promises all kinds of support for the KSRTC to emerge from the current financial crisis function in a time-bound and efficient manner,” the CM said.
The Rs 65-crore building project was executed under the BOT concept by Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation (KTDFC) for the KSRTC. The total expense of the project was Rs 240 crore including the cost of the land and construction cost.
Health Minister V S Sivakumar flagged off the first bus service from the newly built terminal, an Ernakulam Super Deluxe bus. Power and Railways Minister Aryadan Mohammed handed over the first commercial area at the function.
Addressing the audience, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan said that the inauguration was organised in a hurried manner in the view of the upcoming election. He alleged that the UDF Government was not keen on completing projects and a long time had been taken for this project too. He also criticised the delay in executing the Enchakkal bus station project.
The function was chaired by Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. “This is a proud moment for KSRTC. Efforts will be given to complete other projects, including the one at Enchakkal. Work will commence soon after the paperwork is over and the project gets clearance,” he said.
He also added that the transport corporation has plans for developing alternative methods to find more revenue. Discussions are being held on launching a parcel and courier service by the KSRTC.
The bus bay will have the facility for 25 buses to start from there simultaneously. There is facility for rainwater harvesting with a capacity of 3.75 lakh litres of water. Waiting rooms, modern toilets, police aid posts and security cameras will also be arranged taking into account the security and comfort of women also.
The monthly rent of the commercial area will range from Rs 30 to Rs 160 for one square feet based on the demand. An amount of Rs 8 crore has been received so far from the first-level tender process. The second level will begin soon.
Deputy Speaker N Sakthan, Transport Secretary V M Gopala Menon, KTDFC MD Ushadevi Balakrishnan, chief engineer S R J Navakumar, KSRTC MD K G Mohanlal, Mayor K Chandrika and District Panchayat president Ansajitha Russel were also present at the function.