Women’s Waiting Room in Hubli’s New Bus Stand In Bad Condition
Most bus stations in various cities have incorporated measures to ensure the safety of women passengers. There is a separate enclosure for women as they wait for buses. However, when it comes to the New Bus Stand, located on Gokul road here, it is the exact opposite.
The new bus stand, which witnesses around 1,000 departures a day, has a women's waiting room which is in a dilapidated condition. It is permanently locked and women have to share stone benches alongwith the men.
However, there is a rear entrance used by people to access the room. The room is devoid of any furniture and the tubelights have been broken to pieces.
There is a sign forbidding men in the room. The situation is anything but that.
Also, with hardly any security, it is evident that the authorities will wake up only when an untoward incident takes place.
Sushila Naik of Ankola and a frequent visitor to the city is aghast at the women’s waiting room. “Can any woman even step inside the room? There is nobody to even complain to. We have to bear the brunt of authorities’ apathy. It is disgusting," she said.
Shop-keepers at the bus stand said at night, the room becomes a haunt for drunkards who cause a ruckus often. “A few weeks ago, officials of the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) visited the bus stand. We have even complained to them. However, no action has been taken," said Rudrappa Kubusad, who has a tea-shop in the vicinity.
When contacted, NWKRTC divisional controller A S R Namazi washed his hands off the entire issue. “There are two security guards for the entire station who conduct regular rounds. Also, since the New Bus Stand is in an isolated location, not many woman want to stay in the room. If the room is not being used by them, what can be done,” he asked.
Apart from the above issue, the restrooms at the station are charging high rates.
Though there is a notice outside the restrooms stating usage is free, touts near the restrooms charge anywhere between `2 and `7 per person. Also, no receipts are given.
When Express visited the location on Monday and questioned the touts, they shrugged nonchalantly.
“If you don't want to pay, then don't use it,” said a tout who had stationed himself right outside the restroom.