Mangalore: 13 years on, pvt bus stand yet to become reality

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Mangalore, 03 July 2011: There is a story of an old man who has his own helicopter to fly, luxury car to roam but doesn’t have a pair of slippers of his own to walk around! Mangalore replaces old man in the real life example.


The coastal city has an International Airport at Bajpe, two railway stations, one in Hampankatta and other in Kankanady (one more with international standard is on the cards), New Mangalore Port at Panambur, but, we don’t have space for the basic transport facility, a bus stand.


In fact, not many Mangaloreans know that the present bus stand at State Bank is a temporary one! Though the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) has identified a place at Pumpwell for a new private bus stand, the primary works including acquisition of land is still pending.


Temporary for 13 years


Interestingly, the temporary bus stand in the city has seen 13 rainy seasons, which is supposed to be a hockey field.


Till 1997, the private bus stand was in Hampankatta. As the bus stand could only accommodate nearly 50 buses, the then district administration decided to change it  temporarily to the Central Maidan’s Hockey field. Since then, the place meant for sports is serving as so called temporary bus stand.


Dakshina Kannada Cricket Association (DKCA) Manager K B Pai said that sheer negligence by the MCC converted the playing field into a bus stand.


“At first, they said the bus stand is only for temporary period. But now it is more than 13 years. More than one decade is not yet enough for them to build a new one?” he questions.


Even though the search for new bus stand started long back, nothing has fructified. During the tenure of the then Deputy Commissioner Bharatlal Meena, sites were identified at Kottara, for buses coming from Udupi side, and at Mallikatta, for buses coming from Moodbidri and Karkala and from Bantwal. The Central bus stand was planned at Karangalpady after the proposed shifting of the district sub jail to some other location. However, for various reasons, the proposals couldn’t take shape.


Transportation hub


The MCC has finally decided to build a ‘transportation hub,’ which will accommodate all inter-city, intra-city, inter-state and intra-state buses near the NH-66 at Pumpwell (Mahaveera Circle). But the land for the same is yet to be acquired. So far, only 7 acres of land has been acquired out of an estimate 18 acres. The lack of fund is the major factor preventing the further progress in the work. “We have already purchased seven acres of land after spending Rs 7 crores. We require another 12 acres, that means another Rs 12 crores only for land acquisition,” said MCC Commossioner Dr K N Vijayprakash. MCC is trying to pool in money from other sources like KSRTC. “MCC has approached KSRTC to get financial aid in a way they can also be benefited. But so far, the response is not positive,” he added.


The proposed bus stand at Pumpwell is also facing another problem from National Highway.


The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) which is constructing a four-lane road adjacent to bus stand, doesn’t have any entry or exit from or to the bus stand. If NHAI is not willing to change the plan, then the fate of bus stand will be in doldrums.


“The MCC has asked NHAI to re-draw the plan to accommodate an entry and exit to proposed bus stand. However, so far, there is no response from their side,” Vijayaprakash said.




There are protests from some corners against the move to shift the bus stand. The bus operators and street vendors are against the decision of shifting.


“The present bus stand should be developed with facilities like waiting room, cloak room, toilets etc. Instead of killing the present bus stand, why can’t the authorities build other bus stands in Kulshekar, Kottara etc,” asked Canara Bus Owners’ Association President Rajverma Ballal.


He said that they are not supporting the move of Corporation as it is against the wish of common man. “Bus stand is for rural people. They are the one who should decide whether to shift it or not, and not the City people or Rotarians or Lions club people,” he added. He strongly opposed the reason for shifting (traffic congestion). “If you go to Bangalore and see the traffic there, you will surely change your opinion,” he said. Since 1993, there was no increase in the number of buses in the city. It is the KSRTC buses which enter into the city making the traffic horrible, if any.


More than 125 KSRTC buses are plying without permit, he alleged. As the required land is yet to be acquired, it will definitely take a few more years. The delay by the authorities concerned has not only denied Mangaloreans a good Hockey ground, but also better transport facilities.



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