Beke Beku, Bus Shelter Beku! Citizens demand for a Bus Shelter near St Agnes
“Raising slogans like “Beke Beku, Bus Shelter Beku” (We definitely Need, We Need a Bus Shelter) by the members of Mangalore Civic Group (MCG), along with other commuters during a protest, a clear message was sent to the concerned authorities of Mangaluru City Corporation and the Management of St Agnes Institutions, Bendore-Mangaluru-that its the need of the hour to have a bus shelter near the St Agnes College which was demolished for development of the city, and also to make way for the new College Centenary Gate, and commemorative wall.
Mangaluru: Just like the lyrics of Kannada movie song ” ಕಾಣದಂತೆ ಮಾಯವಾದನು ನಮ್ಮ ಶಿವ ಕೈಲಾಸ ಸೇರಿಕೊಂಡನು….” the protesters had set their protest slogan to “Kanadhanthe Mayavaithu Santha Agnes Bus Nildhana (The bus shelter at St Agnes disappeared mysteriously) and wanted to send a message to all those people who are concerned in MCC and also the management of St Agnes Institution. Waiting so long without any progress even after many requests and complaints were made by the citizens of Mangaluru to bring back a new bus shelter at the same location where it was demolished, but until this day there has been no positive response, other than the MCC officials and St Agnes College management giving their own senseless reasons. With the attitude of “Enough is Enough” the members of Mangalore Civic Group along with bunch of other citizens of Mangaluru organized a protest in front of the St Agnes College gate, demanding that a new bus shelter be constructed at the earliest since the commuters, including the students are facing lots of hardships and inconveniences waiting for the buses in hot sun, and in rain during monsoons.
Addressing the gathering, Gerard Towers, an active member of Mangalore Civic Group said, “There had been a nice bus shelter in front of this college, which very much benefitted the public. Since a couple of years after the bus shelter was demolished to make way for the renovation of the St Agnes College gate, even after the work has been completed no bus shelter has been replaced till this day. Everyone is putting a blame on each other. Seems like there is hand in hand connection between the politicians, MCC officials and the College management in this regard. But MCG will fight until justice is served and will submit a memorandum to DC, MCC Commissioner and also Police authorities so that quick action is taken in getting back a bus shelter soon. If within 15 days no action is taken, we will intensify the protest and think of other ways to fight for this cause”
Rajendra, the media convener for Aam Admi Party-Mangaluru said, ” Even though the MCC has planned in its smart city projects, that a new bus shelter and an e-toilet will come near Bendore College, but it should be constructed in a proper place and not where it is not convenient for the public. Like in this case, a small bus shelter was constructed but had to be moved since no one used it and had many complaints. When a bus shelter is demolished for a personal purpose, it should be replaced with a new one soon. But it has been years that the commuters are suffering without a bus shelter, and the MCC nor the College management has done nothing to address this issue. Citizens of this area should raise their voices and fight so that a new bus shelter is up at the earliest.
Ajoy D’Silva, a social activist and member of MCC also speaking said, “Without a bus shelter here, it has been causing lots of inconveniences/hardship to the commuters, including the college students who have to wait for their buses in scorching heat during Summer, and drench in heavy downpour during monsoons season. Hundreds of students and the general public are facing the brunt of not having a bus shelter. Our protest is to awaken the MCC officials and the college management that without wasting further time, they should have a bus shelter at a good location, preferably in front of the College gate, where the original bus shelter existed for decades. Hope our protest will see good results in the nearest future”.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Sabitha Misquith, the Corporator of that ward area said, “After we had requests from many to construct a new bus shelter, we arranged one at the far end corner of the college gate- but we had to remove it and shift it near one of the college – but here too we had objection, and so the construction of the bus shelter was stopped. I will put forth this concern of the citizens to the Mayor and Commissioner and see what best we can do to solve this long pending issue-until until a plan is finalized commuters should bear with us and remain patient”. Even a bunch of girls from St Agnes College are not happy of not having a bus shelter, where they have to stay in the hot sun and rain during monsoons. A few citizens also said that a bus shelter is very much needed here.
In conclusion, all I have to say is that a new and better bus shelter is the need of the hour near St Agnes College-Bendore, and not an inferior bus shelter, where chances are that it will be used for illegal activities, also four-legged animals like stray dogs and cows will use it for their shelter. Better late than never a new bus shelter like a the one which still exists across from the College (located near the road going towards Kadri) should be moved closer to the college gate, where there is enough empty space which will be convenient and useful for the students and general public or the concerned authorities should educate or strictly urge the bus drivers to stop in front of this new bus shelter.
However the management has come out with excuses that having a bus shelter opposite to college will result in accidents and also hectic for students to cross the road at the same spot. Which is far from true? Earlier there was a bus shelter, and no accidents or any other safety hazard has been caused to the students. This is nothing but to avoid the bus shelter in blocking the view of the centenary gate/wall. A bus shelter is much important than a freaking gate or a wall? Period.
Better late than never-before this new bus shelter comes up, the authorities should think twice whether it would serve the purpose- and also why construct a small bus shelter when the original was of bigger size. AND ALSO WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS PROJECT -IT BETTER NOT BE THE TAX-PAYERS? Oh well- let’s wait and see, what action will the MCC take for the convenience of the commuters relying on public transport?