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Ranchi’s bus terminus lacks every amenity

Ahead of AC ride, stand of horrors

By Animesh Bisoee in Ranchi/Jamshedpur

  • Published 23.09.19, 12:36 AM
  • Updated 23.09.19, 12:36 AM
The dilapidated government bus stand on Station Road in Ranchi
The dilapidated government bus stand on Station Road in Ranchi (Manob Chowdhary)

Passengers waiting for AC buses at the government bus stand near the Main Road Overbridge, close to Ranchi station, have to endure smelly filth and run the risk of getting injured from peeling plaster and crumbling cornices of the building.

Seventy AC buses leave for various district towns in the state and to Bihar and equal number arrive at the stand on any day. Footfall to the bus stand is over 20,000 a day on an average. The state had permitted private bus operators to use the bus depot for operating AC Volvo buses from the capital to important cities such as Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Chaibasa, Hazaribagh and Palamau in November 2015.

But, if one is looking for seats at the bus stand, there are broken cement slabs with dirty rags or rotting food leftovers. There is no functional drinking water or toilet facility at the bus stand built on one acre of state transport department land.

Passengers recounted horror stories.

“It is a shame that a smart city has such pathetic infrastructure at a public bus terminus. When it rains, one can’t stand inside the building as people use dilapidated vacant rooms as public urinals,” said Mrityunjay Kumar, a teacher from Lalpur who boarded a AC bus for Hazaribagh from the stand recently.

Sourav Dey of Jamshedpur who frequently goes to Ranchi on work, said the bus stand building must not have seen any repair for decades.

“One can see wild shrubs sprouting out of the G+2 structure. Almost all rooms have cracks. The building should be declared condemned. But we are compelled to come to the bus stand to catch non-stop AC buses that are convenient and fast,” he said.

Bus owners said they had to bear the brunt of passengers’ anger over the poor basic amenities when upkeep was not in their hands

Ranchi Bus Owner’s Association general secretary Kishore Mantri said owners and staff of buses keep receiving complaints. “They ask why all taps are defective and people are forced to buy bottled water. There is no light anywhere in the building except two lamps near the ticket counter. One can see dangling electric wires all along the building which makes it very risky, especially in rain. Families with children point all this to us but we are helpless,” he said.

He said they paid a “substantial sum” to the transport department for each trip and yet the department did not maintain the facility.

Prodded about the poor amenities at the bus stand, state transport secretary Praveen Toppo said his predecessor had asked the urban development department to prepare a detailed project report for the renovation of the bus stand. “I will look into it,” he said.

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