Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus station-cum-shopping complex on Mavoor Road still lying incomplete two years past its deadline.

The multi-crore Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus station-cum-shopping complex, still lying incomplete two years past its deadline, is meant to be a watershed project for public transport in Malabar. But officials say the depot may be cramped for future development and expansion plans of the public transport body.

The complex, clothed in scaffolding, is a mammoth grey presence in the chaotic landscape of Mavoor Road. KSRTC officials in Kozhikode say the complex, being constructed by the Kerala State Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd. on a build-operate-transfer basis, will be ready for public use in the next six months. But they add a rider.

“The depot will have space to park only about 40 buses. We have a daily traffic of 115 buses, including those coming from other States,” a senior KSRTC official says.

Officials say Mavoor Road is already congested. Added to this, the monorail project has a landing stop at the depot-cum-complex, resulting in a huge increase in vehicular traffic and footfall. Future inclusion of low-floor buses will leave little as maintenance and garage space at complex, they say.

Now there are 173 scheduled bus services in the zone comprising Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Kannur districts. Scheduled trips can be up to 300 km.

“An alternative is a 2.43-acre land, currently used as a temporary depot at Pavangad in Elathur panchayat here. This plot was rented by the KSRTC in 2009 from the Kerala Water Authority when construction for the Mavoor Road project started,” V.S. Saju, Zonal Officer, KSRTC, Kozhikode, says.

But Kozhikode (North) MLA, A. Pradeep Kumar, who has been pushing for the timely completion of the Mavoor depot, says the complex offers optimum use of space for KSRTC. “Earlier, buses used to be parked in a disorderly manner. A lot of space was wasted that way. The complex offers planned use of space in the three-acre plot,” he said. Even so Mr. Pradeep Kumar agrees additional space is required for future growth.

“Pavangad plot is a good option. There is also a three-acre plot in Nadakkavu currently used by KSRTC as a workshop. The machinery used there is worn-out. This space can be converted into an additional terminal for city buses,” he says.

He expressed doubts about the official version that the work on Mavoor Road depot will be completed in six months.

“Electrification work is in the tender stage. A technical issue has cropped up on the project’s plan approval. Land documents show the area for the Mavoor Road depot is a total 3.20 acre. But when the depot plan was prepared, it shows only 3 acres. Twenty cents of land is missing. It must have gone in the widening of the Mavoor Road. A decision is awaited on this issue,” the MLA says.

Keywords: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, KSRTC Kozhikode, Mavoor Road depot, KSRTC bus station cum shopping complex.

Source: The Hindu