Mangalore's faulty terminus system

19 September 2009

It is said city's quality of life is portrayed in its transport system and the bus stand for the common people. But Mangalore is far away from realizing it. Its faulty terminus system will not allow the city's traffic to function smoothly,
particularly when all the buses are engaged in a mad rush towards the city central terminus mainly at State Bank and the adjacent central bus stand.
The incharge secretary for Dakshina Kannada M.N. Vidyashankar who made his first visit to the city on Thursday did express shock at the enormous neglect of the public transport system in this city of resourceful people and the phenomenal neglect of safety of road users. He said the bus terminuses in the city does not meet any urban standards and needs a new set of bus terminuses.

The city planners and administration have missed on this aspect, as a result the city still labours under the heavy influx of motor vehicles year after year. The Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) is not sure about its preferences for a permanent bus stand. Though the successive MCC Council debated it in the several of its meetings for the past few years the saga still continues in the present council.

But the Deputy Commissioner Mr. V. Ponnuraj has clear idea. “The mad rush towards the central bus stand. He told that there will be four terminuses in the city. He said the city has laboured under the congested ‘temporary service bus stand' while the State Bank area was yet to be liberated from its position as ‘official city bus terminal'.

The problem regarding the permanent bus -stand is two pronged. The city is not able to decide if it wants a centralised service Bus stand or a de-centralised system characterised by three different termini to de-congest the city area. The central city area of about 45 sq kilometers is highly congested and boasts of a high vehicle density which only some metro cousins of Mangalore have at present Mr. Ponnuraj says.

There are places earmarked for bus stands at Kottara for buses coming from Udupi (NH 17) side; at Mallikatta for buses coming from Moodbidri and Karkala (NH 13) and buses coming from Bantwal (NH 48). The central city stand was planned at Karangalapady after the proposed shifting of the District Sub Jail to some other location. But all these proposals have not been given shape and people still wriggle around in the city for every inch of motorable space.

One of the meetings of the MCC in the past it has been resolved that had identified a site for the central bus stand near the Mahaveera Circle (formerly Pumpwell circle). But despite the initiatives taken by the council and officials Mayors Devanna Shetty, Ramesh Kotian Hilda Alva and Shashidhar Hegde have taken no action for have de-centralised bus stands for the city the last ten years.

The Council, Mayor, opposition and the officials are well aware of the city's problem and many times over the transport operators have also spelt out their problems. But there appears to have no solution to the city's congestion problems. But before the council could take a decision on de-centralised bus stands it was also important to take a look at

According to president of Nagarika Hitarakshana Vedike Hanumanth Kamath `Mangalore is going to be a mini metro in less than two years and if vehicular traffic particularly the heavy tonnage vehicles rushing through the city would spell doom for city's commercial interests.

The mofussil buses after entering the city also take the same route as the city buses do and both city and mofussil routes terminate at almost the same place (State Bank area) which was not just a waste of fuel due to duplication of routes but also there is lot of competition among the bus operators inside the city putting public safety into jeopardy.

Former Mayor Shashidhar Hegde remembers that the council headed by him as Mayor in 2001 had made some observations on the entry the long distance buses as well as those from mofussil areas from Mallikatta, Mahaveera circle and Kottara side had to be terminated within two kilometers inside the city limits, but the resolution had been failed by the successive councils on flimsy reasons fueled by the transport lobby of the city.

Various other observations made by experts in city planning and transport operators suggests that the city feeder lines could be stationed at these termini to all localities inside the city. The bus operators, vehicle users, and city planners argue that this system will bring down not only the congestion in the city but also eliminate the duplication of services. They also feel that it was time that the temporary bus-stand is de-commissioned to jump start the work on three de-centralised bus termini



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