New Bus Shelters have Become a Haven for Homeless & Stray Animals Day & Night

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New Bus Shelters have Become a Haven for Homeless & Stray Animals Day & Night — and nothing has been done to STOP it, resulting in filth collected inside these bus shelters. Also, stink emanating due to urinating by these homeless people using the bus shelters

Mangaluru: Lakhs of tax-payers money spent on the construction of bus shelters at various places by Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) and Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) are going to waste as these bus shelters are not being maintained, forcing bus commuters to wait for buses by standing under rain and sun. Where there is a real need for a bus shelter, there is none-otherwise you see a bunch of bus shelters where commuters don’t use nor do buses stop there. Ironically, there are a few bus shelters constructed on routes where buses do not ply.

This is a waste of taxpayers’ money. There is one bus shelter which is rendered useless to commuters as the place in front of the bus shelter has turned into a commercial place with vendors selling vegetables on push carts. A majority of bus shelters do not have bus bays. Buses stand right in the middle of the road, blocking traffic and endangering the lives of the people, especially in crowded places. Many bus shelters on arterial roads are used by street vendors after regular hours for sleeping.

It seems like the transport authority/public transport association, MSCL and Mangaluru City Corporation have a mission…’ It’s either more or less, but never adequate.’ So, when people who commute daily by city or service buses complain of the hazards and hassles involved in boarding a bus, both the authorities seem to be aggravating the commuter’s problem. Bus shelters across the City are in shambles. In many places, there are no bus shelters at all, and at some spots, there is more than one bus shelter- and there are other spots where makeshift stops have added to the misery of the travelling public.

Just look at the newly constructed 11 bus shelters-you will see more homeless people using the benches there for sleeping or squatting, while commuters have to stand and wait for their buses. It’s okay with me if these homeless use the benches to spend the night, but many times they are seen sleeping and using the spaces even during the daytime when commuters are present. And no officials or law enforcement officials have looked into it and taken any action, with an attitude “Why Should We”?

Many bus shelters hardly have any commuters using them, other than homeless people squatting or sleeping. Even four-legged “man’s best friends” are seen taking a nap, some of them urinating. There is absolutely no planning or policy when it comes to the number of bus shelters to be built at a particular point as some important bus stops where more than two bus stops are in a row, resulting in the bus drivers stopping according to their whims and fancies.

In fact, there are no shelters at all at most of the bus stops in the newly added wards. There cannot be a worse hardship a commuter can face while waiting for a bus for a long time. An over-enthusiastic MCC and other organizations/associations have gone ahead with random construction of bus shelters, leaving the commuters more confused at some places and have completely ignored certain places. Though commuters pay taxes like everyone else and deserve basic infrastructure, they are always at risk of getting caught in rain or dealing with blistering heat and freezing cold as many bus shelters have been rendered useless.

Ideally, bus stops are meant for ease and comfort for commuters. Here, they are inconvenient and at the same time increase the risk of road accidents as commuters are forced to stand on the roads due to the pathetic state of some of the shelters. From their location to lack of necessary information, complaints about bus shelters in the city are endless. The location of bus shelters in several places is not right and is leading to traffic jams.

As many are in a dilapidated condition, commuters are forced to stand on the road, a little away from the pavement, and flag down passing buses. Even though the public has urged the authorities concerned to construct bus shelters only where buses stop and also take steps for their periodical maintenance and stop wasting taxpayers’ money, the officials have turned a blind eye and have gone their own way in constructing bus shelters.

Take these classic examples of the lack of planning by these authorities in constructing bus shelters. Taking a ride across the city and a little further in the outskirts of the city, you’ll notice that there are two or three bus shelters with a scanty population using them for travelling towards their required destinations, and in other places where many commuters really need a bus-shelter, there is none. Thousands of commuters have to wait along the bus stops or most of the time on the road itself. This gets worse when it rains. It’s very confusing for the people, especially visitors who wait for the bus where there are more bus shelters. They do not know where the bus stops, for example at the recently built 11 bus shelters from Clock tower to A B Shetty Circle.

In such cases, they might also miss the bus and not reach their workplace or destination in time. Chances are that when the people are waiting for the bus in a bus shelter, the bus might stop ahead in the next shelter. Also, if the same route bus numbers are running at a particular time, the buses won’t even stop, unless there are commuters alighting at that destination. There is no proper display of route numbers on the bus shelters either. Seems like there is a lot of disarray in the construction of more than one shelter at a particular stop between the planners.

Why have bus shelters when buses do not stop there? We have seen buses stop at the wrong places when the designated sheltered bus stop is a few feet away. If you move around City, you will notice that there are no designated bus stops. People stand in front of a shop, or a tree and no buses stop there. It is requested that MCC and MSCL provide a pole with a signboard identifying scheduled bus stops or marking the routes on the bus shelters.

In conclusion, having more than one bus shelter at a bus stop is definitely confusing to the commuters as the bus might stop anywhere. Also when there is a bus shelter where commuters are not using it, chances are that illegal folks use it for illegal activities, also four-legged animals like stray dogs and cows use it for their shelter. The city and transport authorities have to come out with a solution as to how to put these deserted bus shelters in use again-one way they can do it is to educate the bus drivers or post bus route numbers/destination names in front of these deserted bus shelters.

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