The Rs 4.2 Crore Renovated Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) State Bank Service Bus Stand in SHAMBLES Posing Hardship to Commuters-With No Seating arrangements; No proper Toilets/Restrooms; No Proper Eatery Places; Garbage/filth scattered all around posing health hazards to the commuters waiting for their buses, among many basic facilities that are lacking. The MLA Vedavyas Kamath, MCC Mayor Sudheer Shetty, and MCC Commissioner CL Anand among other City officials visited the bus stand on 26 October 2023, and MLA assured that all the facilities and development work that is needed will be taken up soon and that the has asked MSCL to provide roofing, seating, and other necessary facilities at the platforms. But it is already New Year 2024, and the month of January is ending, still, no action has been taken, and the incomplete bus stand remains the same, with a lack of facilities desperately needed by the commuters
Mangaluru: One thing for sure that any new project undertaken by Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL] is either not done scientifically for the first time or left incomplete – and here is one such project- the Newly Constructed MSCL Service cum City Bus Stand near State Bank vicinity, which lacks the important basic facilities, like not many toilets, no seating under the bus shelter, no proper food outlets, etc.
Having received various complaints from the public and social activities, MLA of Mangaluru South Constituency Vedavyas Kamath along with Mangaluru City Commissioner Mayor Sudheer Shetty Kannur, MCC Commissioner C L Anand, Senior mCC Councillor and former Mayor Premanand Shetty, other district administration officials had visited the Bus Stand on 25 October 2023 and after an inspection found out that lots of facilities are lacking presently, even though the bus stand was put into service months ago.
The MLA had assured that all the facilities and development work that is needed will be taken up soon and that he has asked MSCL to provide roofing, seating, and other necessary facilities at the platforms of the State Bank of India service bus terminal in the city. But it is already New Year 2024, and the month of January is ending, still, no action has been taken, and the incomplete bus stand remains the same, with a lack of facilities desperately needed by the commuters.
Only two out of the five bus shelters are fitted with new roofs, while the remaining three shelters are untouched for so long that when it rains the commuters have to use rain protection and in summer face the brunt of hot sun rays. A fisherwoman selling fish in the market adjoining the terminal said as there is no shelter, several commuters have fainted in the heat and collapsed. The mayor also said that he had been receiving complaints from passengers, the general public, and the bus owners’ association regarding the inadequate facilities at the bus stand. He said several issues were affecting passengers, including the absence of proper roofing, lack of toilet facilities, and the need for speed breakers. Street vendors in the vicinity were also causing inconvenience, he said.
When commuters need breakfast, there is a makeshift canteen located very next to the pay toilet, and only two or three buckets of water are used to rinse and wash the used plates/glasses, which is hygienic and hazardous to health. The City health inspectors were quick to raid a matkas soda shop near Kudroli Temple during Mangalore Dasara, for unhygienic conditions and the news made headlines. But if you look around all the petty food outlets/petty shops selling snacks/drinks etc have no proper water supply, and they too use one or two buckets of water for cleaning purposes.
With thousands of passengers using this bus stand, and only a few toilets for men and women, you see men including the bus crew urinating against the wall facing the bus stand- and the area stinks, giving scope for mosquito breeding. Also regarding the pay-to-use toilet, where you pay rs 2 for urinals and Rs 5 for Pooping – and only 5 spaces were provided for urinals and 5 for pooping- can you believe having such a small toilet facility where thousands of commuters, along with bus drivers and conductors are using the bus stand daily. Due to this, one can see men urinating along the stretch of the wall very adjacent to the bus stand- and the whole area has an unbearable stink. Wow- and you call this a Smart City, which stinks Urine?
During his visit in October 2023, MLA Kamath said there are plans to install CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi facilities and passenger seating initiatives that will be taken up with the support of the district minister. But only promises, no actions? To a question about reducing the height of the bus stand’s roof to offer protection to passengers from the sun and rain, the MLA said he has instructed engineers to lower the roof height to enhance passenger comfort. That too has not been addressed till now.
With the work to install seating facilities still pending, workers who have left behind protruding steel rods etc, are also a safety hazard for passengers while moving around- and since no one complains about them getting hurt due to these obstacles, the officials have turned a blind eye. Poor maintenance in keeping the bus stand tidy has gone for a toss, with garbage/leftover food etc being scattered around. The question arises whether the concerned administration if taking up development works, will effectively maintain the service bus stand. The current state of footpaths, post-urination, highlights the need for officials to go the extra mile in ensuring proper maintenance after development.