Of 5,000 bus stops, only 200 are in good shape, PMPML promises action
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A day after a shed at a bus stop close to PMC headquarters in Shivajingar crashed barely three minutes after around 50 commuters had left the stop by two buses, the Newsline team found out that many bus stops in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad are in a very bad shape. In many cases, rust had corroded metal structures and the base of the pillars had become weak, ready to fall anytime.
Jugal Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch said PMPML is aware of the fact that bus stops are in bad condition. In an RTI reply to his queries, said Rathi, PMPML has conceded that of the 5,000 bus stops across PMC and PCMC limits, only 1,200 have proper sheds. "Of the 5,000 bus stops, only 200 have seating arrangements and could be called commuter-friendly. The rest are ill-kept and dangerous. This came to light during our survey," he said.
PMPML officials, on condition of anonymity, said some bus stops are in a worse condition than the one that collapsed near PMC. A PMPML official said, "Most of the bus stops that are in bad state were constructed over seven years ago on a BOT basis and carry advertisement boxes on top. The contractor was given the rights to advertisements for seven years after which the bus stops were to be handed over to PMPML."
The official said 85 bus stops have been handed over so far. "Around 30 more would be handed over soon. Rust has made the base of many of these metal bus stops weak. The drive to demolish such bus stops is on. We have so far removed over 20 bus stops in different parts of the city," the official said.
When contacted, PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi conceded that PMPML has 5,000 bus stops and only over 1,000 have proper sheds. "We are in the process of providing proper sheds. The tender process is already under way. I can't give the exact deadline when the work will start, but it should start anytime," he said.
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