Authorities responsible for upkeep and maintenance at the local Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) bus stand has failed to upgrade and modernise the facility for years. This has resulted in poor passenger inflow to the stand and lack of basic amenities at the centre.
Even washrooms and drinking water facility are not available at the bus stand. An additional shed was blown away by the winds two years ago, but was not constructed again. The corporation even failed to remove the debris of broken tins.
"There is no facility for passengers at the bus stand, even as the authorities earn a lot from it.
There is a contract for an entry fee of daily collection from over 400 entries for about Rs 10,000 daily and Rs 20 are charged for night parking on an average for 70 buses. There are also 10 shops and stalls on premises from which it earns Rs 3,000 a day, besides charges like parking stand charges," claimed Gurtej Singh Sewewalia, chairman of Private Bus Operator Workers' Union, Faridkot.
"In spite of considerable income from the the bus stand, no facility is being extended to passengers," he alleged.
"There is no hygiene at all. Passengers can be seen looking for clean washrooms," said Balwant Singh, another union activist with private transporters.
"We even resorted to a strike to bring the issue to the notice of the authorities, but the situation did not improve at all. We were only given false assurances," claimed Gurtej Singh and Balwant Singh, members of bus operators union.
"The bus stand is the face of a city. Faridkot is an important daily destination. The government should modernise the bus stand to relieve passengers from daily torture and poor facilities," said Mahipinder Singh Sekhon from Faridkot.
"The issue of the modernisation of the bus stand has been raised many times. Work has been delayed for years. It does not even resemble a bus stand now and is more of an abandoned building," said Parveen Kumar Kala, president Sahara Sewa Society, Faridkot.
"We see no hindrance to the upgrade and modernization of the plant.
From the district administration, there is no problem to the upgrade and modernisation of the bus stand. The ownership of the bus stand land has also been transferred to the PRTC. Still, if the facilities are lacking, I shall look into the matter and discuss the issue in our next meeting," said Mohammad Tayyab, Faridkot deputy commissioner.