It’s back to stone age for bus shelters in Chandigarh, and that’s good news
The city has 10 RRM (random rubble masonry) bus shelters at present, whereas there are around 135 brick-and-mortar shelters that are also essentially of the same strength and character.punjab Updated: May 24, 2017 10:33 IST
Having changed the design of bus queue shelters twice already in 13 years, Chandigarh administration is going back to nature. Tenders for 242 bus shelters to be built with RRM (random rubble masonry) technique, also known stone masonry, will soon be out.
Also, around 70 of the 82 shelters built only with steel and other material will be demolished for being in bad shape.
The city has 10 RRM bus shelters at present, whereas there are around 135 brick-and-mortar shelters that are also essentially of the same strength and character.
At least half of the 250 shelters across the UT are in a dilapidated state, because the administration has failed to take up their maintenance for the past three years.
The new shelters will have concrete with some steel used too, said a senior officer of the architecture department who did not want to be named.
“We have a meeting on May 25 with the home secretary to finalise the design, after which we will float tenders,” UT chief engineer Mukesh Anand said.
Meanwhile, transport secretary KK Jindal told HT that routes of local buses have already been finalised for 242 stops that will have shelters.
Besides the brick-masonry and the stone-and-concrete structures, the administration has used two other designs that resulted in 22 kiosk-style shelters and 60 stainless steel shelters, which form the bulk of those set to be demolished. Even when these design were adopted, residents had opposed the move.
In 2013, the administration spent Rs 13 lakh on each shelter made of steel, whereas the brick one cost only Rs 3 lakh. The kioskstyle shelters had come up before that, when in 2004 the MC came up with a built-operate-transfer (BOT) policy for contractors to put advertisements. Several of these have space for tuck shops too. An audit report by the accountant general too had then pointed out that the UT had “wasted” public money because the shelters were not passengerfriendly for being open on both sides.
City-based architect Surinder Bahga commented, “We always wanted the UT to maintain its, so it is a welcome step that the administration is relying on concrete. Anyway, before coming up with such projects, they should consult some senior architects of the city.”