The shifting of the bus stand here is the dire need of the hour due to significant increase in the population and the rise in the number of buses entering the bus stand, but the issue has been hanging fire for the past four years, causing a lot of inconvenience to the people.
The proposal for an ultra-modern air-conditioned bus stand, to be built under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme at a cost of `250 crore, was made during Captain Amarinder Singh's tenure as chief minister in 2005, but seems to have fallen prey to the legal hitches.
In an effort to ease out congestion of traffic and providing better facilities to passengers, it was decided to shift the present bus stand to a new location, one km from the present site on the Patiala-Rajpura road.
On February 18, 2009, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone of the new multi-storey bus stand. The project was supposed to be completed within a period of 18 months.
As per the available information, the company Global Constructions Limited was to develop the new AC bus stand for which it had already paid lease money of `27 crore to PEPSU Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC).
But the company failed to start the project within the time limit prescribed in the MoU signed with the PRTC despite the latter having given the possession of the land to the private company.
The MoU, signed with the company stood null and void, as the company failed to start work even after repeated notices issued by the PRTC.
Currently, the PRTC had moved the court to take possession of the land.
However, the present bus stand has turned into a bottleneck for city residents due to traffic congestion, blatant use of pressure horns and poor parking sense of the drivers.
It is quite a chaotic situation all around from early hours in the morning till late evening due to its location in the middle of the city.
With increase in the number of buses during the past several years, the present premises falls short of the parking space and bus owners park their buses along roadsides, especially during night. The local buses also can be seen parked outside the bus stand.
The water-logging within the bus stand premises is another serious issue as water, even a short spell of rain, takes many days to drain out due to poor drainage system.
Moreover, authorities concerned have failed to take a serious note of the mushrooming of
Shops and other illegal encroachments along the boundary wall of the bus stand.
When contacted, PRTC chairman Avtar Singh Brar said the government was willing to shift the bus stand to decongest the city, but the matter has been pending in a court. We will request the court to speed up the process.
Shifting of the bus stand is the need of the hour as traffic congestion at the bus stand chowk causes a lot of inconvenience to the passerby.
Dimple, a resident of B-Tank area
Parking of buses on the Lower Mall road often resultsin traffic jams but the traffic police have failed to take any action.
Darshan Singh, a resident of Arya Samaj colony
Till the new bus stand comes up, the authorities should come up with alternative plans for diverting traffic on different roads.
Chatarjeet SIngh, a resident of Ghuman Nagar
The condition of the road in front of the bus stand is presently in a deplorable condition, but despite repeated requests, authorities have failed to pay any heed to resident's demand.
Sukhjit Singh, a resident of Karahwala chowk