KOCHI: C T Unnikrishnan, the station master at the KSRTC Jetty Bus Station, has to always look up while working at his office.
Over the past four weeks, piles of debris have been falling from the ceiling at unexpected moments. This has forced the staff to move to two adjoining rooms that are in better shape. But he is still careful and there’s no trace of irony when he says, “Only god knows what will happen next.”
“This is the first structure of the KSRTC to come up in Ernakulam. Built in the 1950s, the bus station has been serving passengers with whatever facilities it has. However, many corners of the building have come down, particularly in the past two months,” said Unnikrishnan. The building- a heritage structure – has lost the hostel for employees, rest room, cloak room, store room and even the toilet. The bus yard is waterlogged, forcing passengers to wade through dirty water to reach parked buses.
Sources from the engineering section of the KSRTC headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram said a team had visited the jetty bus station last month after the building started collapsing.
“Since it is a heritage building in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ), it cannot be reconstructed. But, we have plans to renovate a portion of the building. The estimate for the same has been prepared. We will ensure that the bus station has an office with basic facilities,” said a senior officer.
Ever since the opening of Goshree Bridges, many new services to northern parts, including Guruvayur, have been introduced from the jetty bus station.
This has considerably reduced the traffic problems at the Ernakulam main bus station.
When contacted, Hibi Eden MLA said that a proposal to revamp the jetty bus station has already been made to the tourism department. “This has been an issue for the past many years.
The transport department finally gave a no objection certificate (NOC) to the tourism department to develop the area recently. The Rs 1.3 crore project is awaiting clearance from the ministry of environment and forests as it comes in the CRZ,” he said.
Source: Times of India