In an effort to ease out congestion of traffic and to provide better facilities to passengers, the bus stand at Patiala-Rajpura road was decided to shift to a new location. It was to be constructed under Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. But the proposal worth Rs 250 crore made during captain Amarinder Singh's tenure as chief minister in 2005 seems to have fallen prey to legal problems.
On February 18, 2009, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal laid the foundation stone of the new multi-storied bus stand. The project was supposed to be completed within a period of 18 months.
As per the available information, Global Constructions Limited was to develop the new air conditioned bus stand for which it had already paid a lease of Rs 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 giving possession of the land to a private company. The MoU signed with the company stood null as it 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 the city residents due to traffic congestion, blatant use of pressure horns and poor parking sense of the drivers.
Since the bus stand is located in the middle of the city, it causes even more inconvenience to the city residents.
With increase of buses in the past many years, the present premises fall short of parking space as buses owners used to park their buses along the road especially during the night. Local buses can be seen parked outside the bus stand. Water logging within the bus stand premises is another serious issue as even a short spell of rainfall takes many days to drain out water due to poor drainage system.
Meanwhile, the concerned authorities have failed to take a serious note of slaughter houses and other illegal encroachments along the boundary wall of the bus stand.
Bhupinder Singh Rai, Managing Director PRTC: We will manage to take up the case with the state government only after taking possession of the land from the previous company. The case is still pending with the court.
Harwinder Singh, a resident of Urban Estate: The bus should be shifted as it has led to major congestion at the chowk causing inconvenien
Manish Kumar, a resident of Rajpura Colony: Parking of buses on lower mall road often results in traffic jams but traffic police has failed to take any action.
Sourabh Sharma, a resident of Old Lal Bagh: Instead of constructing a new bus stand, the authorities should come up with plans for diverting routes for buses to ply on different roads.
Sukhjit Singh, a resident of Karahwala chowk: The condition of road in front of the bus stand is presently in deplorable condition but despite repeated requests concerned authorities have failed to pay any heed to the demands of the resident.