A two year-long, Rs. 60 crore BMTC project which aims to turn the filth-ridden Kalasipalya bus stop into a 4.3 acres-swanky terminal has been underway for the last three years. There are still no signs of it being completed even this year.
The Kalasipalya Bus Terminal project, proposed in 2016 is still far from completion. It was scheduled to be a 24-month project, but, it is now estimated to be completed by December, 2020,taking almost double the time sanctioned.
Mr. Subramaniyam, Chief, BBMP Control Room told the Softcopy, “The Kalasipalya bus Terminal project was transferred to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) last year. Now, even we are wondering why it is taking so long for the project to see its end.”
Mr. Deepak, Public Relations Officer, BMTC, explained, “The project has been getting delayed due to the frequent change of the Managing Director (M.D) of BMTC. In the past three years the BMTC has seen three IAS officers as its M.D. Also, the recent change of government had also stalled the construction process considerably. The tender amount, however, has not been affected due to this.”
The BMTC has awarded a tender for Rs. 60 crore to a private construction firm.
Mr Ramachandra, PA to the Public Relations Officer, BMTC said, “This is a much coveted project that is under construction. This project includes modern facilities and will prove to be a boon to the traffic-congested Kalasipalya area. The proposed bus terminal will have various amenities including platforms for city buses as well as inter-state buses. An auto stand, a subway connectivity to KR Market metro station with lift facilities and a food court will also be included in the project.”In addition to the terminal at Kalasipalya, the BMTC is supposed to build a new depot at Anjanapura and employees’ quarters at Gunjur.
A proper bus terminal at Kalasipalya is the need of the hour. Besides BMTC buses, it is also a parking hub for inter-state private buses. Anil Sagar, proprietor of a travel agency at Kalasipalya said, “There is no parking spot for private buses in the city,as a result we have no other choice but to park them on the street. This sure causes traffic congestion in the area but we are helpless. So far we are unsure whether our private buses will be allowed to be parked inside the terminal as well.”
C. Krishna Kumar, proprietor of another travel agency at Kalasipalya told the Softcopy, “This partially-constructed bus terminal is the only ray of hope that we have when it comes to parking. We have been waiting for this since a very long time. Now that a bus terminal is supposed to be built, the BMTC is carrying out the work at a snail’s pace. Once the BMTC buses clear-out, we’re hoping to get a longer wait time by the side of the road, if not entry inside the bus terminal.”
Commuters hope that the construction of this Kalasipalya Bus Terminal is also going to bring an end to their woes.
Aditi Yadav, a frequent traveler, told the Softcopy, “The bus terminal work is going on extremely slowly. Once the bus terminal comes up I hope this will bring an end to the everyday hassle of the commuters. Identifying as well as boarding the bus will, hopefully, get easier. I am done walking on the filthy sidewalks.”
Although the upcoming Kalasipalya Bus Terminal project which aims at turning the filthy area to a lavish terminal is a much desired one , yet it has attracted the ire of quite a few nature lovers. Adjacent to the Kalasipalya bus stop is the Sri Lokamatha Ayyappa Temple, behind which is a stretch of trees including Ficus, Rain Tree, Jacaranda, as well as Gulmohar trees.
Ashok Kumar, one of the trustees of the temple said, “These trees are home to thousands of animals such as rose-ringed parakeets, mynahs, squirrels, bats and owls. In order to make way for this giant concrete structure, the BMTC has cut down all the trees. We had written to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests regarding the this, but sadly couldn’t save the tree belt. In this hour of climate emergency, we need more tree belts than concrete structures.”
Prof. M.N Srihari, advisor to Government of Karnataka in Traffic, Transport, and Infrastructure commented on the issue saying, “Parking has always been a problem at Bangalore. Although the Kalasipalya Bus Terminal project is going to be a much-needed improvement in the city’s infrastructural fabric, yet the delay is ruining its importance. The BMTC should fast track this project in order to relieve the people, drivers as well as the bus owners of this traffic distress at Kalasipalya.”