Chandigarh sulks over bus shelter: ‘Brick-mortar better’, UT ‘wasted’ Rs 7.5 cr on steel
Even as the UT administration spent about Rs 7.5 crore on setting up 60 new stainless steel bus shelters on V-3 roads (roads dividing sectors) across the city two years ago, with the sun beating down sans mercy, and rain again here, commuters continue to feel that the ‘new’ shelters hardly serve the purpose of giving protection from sun and rain.The commuters say the old shelters, made of brick and mortar, were any time better.chandigarh Updated: Jun 26, 2015 11:17 IST
Even as the UT administration spent about Rs 7.5 crore on setting up 60 new stainless steel bus shelters on V-3 roads (roads dividing sectors) across the city two years ago, with the sun beating down sans mercy, and rain again here, commuters continue to feel that the ‘new’ shelters hardly serve the purpose of giving protection from sun and rain.
The commuters say the old shelters, made of brick and mortar, were any time better.
The new shelters were constructed two years ago. The administration spent nearly Rs 13 lakh on each shelter, whereas the ones made of bricks cost only Rs 3 lakh each. A structural disaster of sorts, the bus shelters are now crying for attention.
ON DELHI PATTERN
Earlier in 2004, the MC had come up with bus shelters under the built operate and transfer (BOT) policy, where the contractors were allowed to put advertisements on the shelters.
After three years, however, they changed the designs and decided to construct the shelters with stainless steel and granite.
Executive engineer, UT administration, Karam Chand, said: “We have built them on the pattern of Delhi as the weather condition in Delhi and Chandigarh are similar. Moreover, the design was approved by the then UT chief architect and we were only the executing agency.”
NO SHELTER AT ALL
However, an audit report of the accountant general, Chandigarh, released last year, pointed out that the UT had “wasted” the public money as bus shelters were not passenger-friendly as they have been kept open from the sides.
Also, the report pointed out, the shelters provide hardly any protection against rain as a huge space has also been left open behind the sitting slab.
The civic body even experimented and set up shelters with kiosks at the cost of Rs 1.25 lakh each, but even those proved to be no good.
Constructing the shelters with brick, in the old style, would have saved the administration more than Rs 5 crore.
It was also noticed that during the construction of these shelters in some sectors, a few steel sheets were stolen, following which the UT administration directed the Chandigarh Transport Union (CTU) to make security arrangements at the shelters, further adding to burden on the exchequer.
MC councilor Pardeep Chabbra said, “It is unfortunate that the administration has changed bus shelters for the third time, wasting the public money. They should have maintained the old ones.” UT chief architect Kapil Setia could not be reached for comment.