State-of-the-art ISBT Mohali without power, running on generators
It was once a dream project of the former Shiromani Akali Dal government, but the state-of-the-art Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT Mohali), almost abandoned till the Covid-19 outbreak when buses for migrants and other parts of the states started running from there, has no power connection, with just a few fans and lights powered by generators.
Passengers have to sweat it out all the while as they wait for their buses.
ISBT was back in business after June 15 when the UT administration decided to suspend interstate operations of the Chandigarh Transport Union and other state operated buses from Chandigarh’s Sector 43, following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) snapped power supply to ISBT Mohali in April 2018 after its ₹15 lakh bill was not cleared.
When contacted, Sarabjeet Singh, ISBT manager, said, “I have recently joined the duty. The authorities concerned have to pay the power bill. These days we are using generators because of the warm weather.”
All Punjab and Pepsu Roadways buses are now operating from the terminus, which was inaugurated on December 17, 2016, by Sukhbir Singh Badal, the then Punjab deputy chief minister.
Only one section of the bus stand was made operational then, and after SAD lost the state elections the ruling Congress termed it a ‘white elephant’ before abandoning it.
The company which built and operated the ISBT also went bankrupt and fled.
Project that went off-track
The ambitious Busopolis project was launched in 2009 and was to be completed in December 2011. Spread over seven acres, it was to have an inter-state bus terminal, three multi-storey towers with retail and office spaces, multiplex, five-star hotel, banquet hall, hyper markets, and a helipad atop a tower. But since its inception, the project has been mired in controversies and possession delays.
While the bus terminal has become operational, the commercial towers are yet to be completed.