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MSRTC shifts gears to rid bus depots of beggars, hawkers

The Pune division has made an official complaint to the cops, requesting them to take action against the encroachers

Although the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has pulled out all the stops to ensure that families have a hassle-free journey during their summer vacations, MSRTC officials are irked with vagabonds and hawkers who are frequenting their bus stands.


MSRTC has increased maintenance staff at Shivajinagar bus depot, to ensure their facilities are clean and hygienic. Pic/Mohan Patil
 
To improve services, MSRTC’s Pune division has  increased maintenance staff at the ST stands at Swargate, Shivajinagar, Pune station and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Also, extra buses have been pressed into service to meet the vacation rush. But, the administration is finding it difficult to maintain the facilities, as beggars, hawkers and auto drivers are thronging the stands, and dirtying them.

“The summer vacation has started and daily buses on all the routes are getting filled every day. In order to tackle this rush, our employees are trying to provide good service and maintain punctuality of buses. During this rush period we have increased drinking water facilities and seating. Most importantly, house keeping staff have been increased at all the stands to make sure that cleanliness is maintained,” said MSRTC Pune divisional controller Shailesh Chavhan.

“But the problem plaguing us is that non-travellers who frequent the stands use our toilets, sleep on the benches and dirty the premises. Due to this, bonafide passengers are affected and they blame the administration for the shoddy upkeep. We have lodged an official complaint with police stations, requesting them to  clear this unwanted crowd from our bus stands,” added Chavhan.

155
Number of extra buses deployed to beat the rush

Commuters unhappy

MSRTC’s better service initiative, however, has failed to enthuse passengers. Aditya Bhide, a commuter at Swargate ST stand, said, “Although additional buses have been pressed into service, there is no coordination or proper management for reservations. A passenger new to the stand is bound to get confused while buying a ticket, due to the lack of signage. There should be a more improvised system at the stands.” Another passenger, Komal Sahane said, “There should be a special waiting room for women and children during the summer months. Moreover, beggars should be kept at bay as they dirty the place.”

Securing depots
A year ago, MSRTC had planned to install CCTV cameras at all 12 ST stands under Pune division, but due to lack of funds, it was stalled. Keen to get the project moving, MSRTC Pune division has now decided to contact the PMC. “We have approached the local corporators in Swargate, Shivajinagar and Chinchwad to help us financially to install cameras at the stands. They have the funds and talks are ongoing.We hope to secure the premises with cameras in the near future,” said Chavhan.

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