The sight of two completely equipped, sheltered bus stops right across the street is an ironic one for the commuters waiting at the 'open air' Modern High School stop on JM Road. What causes the heartburn is the fact that the sheltered bus stops have been rendered obsolete as the road is now a one-way. Moreover, the non-functional stops still sport advertisements, earning the transport authority revenue, which it seems unwilling to invest in construction of new shelters.
What a waste! Passengers wait for their bus at the unsheltered stop
on JM Road opposite Modern High School;
The two obsolete stops right across the unsheltered stop still sport
roofs with advertisements. Pics/Krunal Gosavi
The two stops on the lane heading towards University Road lost their utility after JM Road was declared one-way along with Fergusson College Road three years ago. The traffic flow on the JM Road now heads towards Deccan Circle. While the sheltered stops are right on the footpath outside the Modern High School's boundary wall, the ones on the opposite side that are operational are roofless.
A visit to the spot revealed that several passengers were taking shelter below a tree adjacent to the operational bust stop until their respective busses arrived after a painstaking wait of 20 minutes. On the other hand, the now defunct stops across the streets were serving as resting spots for passers-by and youngsters.
Passengers complained that the roofless bus stops combined with poor bus frequency aggravate their woes during the monsoon.
"A sheltered bus stop will only aid smooth traffic flow as passengers will form a queue and not spread around the stop which becomes chaotic when buses arrive," said Tushar Bhingarde (22), a student. Mahesh Padhye (54), a businessman from Prabhat Road, said that the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) should use the ad revenue judiciously, and not only for covering losses. "A decent and non-fancy bus stop is not costly, and the PMPML can easily spare a few lakhs for installing the infrastructure at the unsheltered stops," he said.
Sunil Gavli, traffic manager, PMPML refused to comment on the issue, saying that it came under the purview of the Advertisements and Commercial Department. An official from the department, requesting anonymity, said that the authority is already in the process of installing new bus stops in collaboration with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on various roads in the city. "All obsolete stops will be removed and the ones in use will get specially designed bus shelters. People should bear with us for a few months," he said.