KOZHIKODE: Despite the work on the new bus stand-cum-shopping complex of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation KSRTC entering the final phase, the KSRTC staff are still worried about the inadequate space available at the complex for parking the buses.

While the new bus stand can accommodate 40 buses, the actual number of schedules from Kozhikode is much higher according to officials.

“Before commencing the work of the bus station, the transport corporation had shifted more than half of the schedules to other places including Thamarassery, Mananthawady, Ernakulum, Kannur and other depots to fight the space crunch,” said Indu Kumar, Kozhikode unit secretary of KSRT Employees’ Association CITU. It was assured to bring back the schedules after inauguration of the new bus stand. However, as the new bus station can accommodate only 40 buses, it would be a difficult task to bring back the schedules to Kozhikode, he added.

As per the plan, the bus station will function on the first floor of the complex. A mini workshop and a petrol bunk will also be opened in the complex after the works are completed.

While the underground will be utilized to provide parking space for private vehicles, the ground floor of the bus station will be devoted for commercial purposes. A food court and other facilities will be set up for the passengers who reach the station.

Meanwhile, a senior official with the KSRTC said over 110 buses reach Kozhikode every day. The only possible measure is to operate interstate and superfast services from the new bus stand and find another depot for city services, he said.

Office-bearers of employees’ organization also suggest that the 3-acre land owned by the KSRTC at Nadakkavu could be converted into a depot to carry out city services. At present, city services from Thamarassery , Thottilpalam and other depots are being operated from Mananchira.

The regional workshop of the KSRTC, which is presently operational at Nadakkavu, could be shifted to the 2.4-acre land, currently used as a temporary depot at Pavangad. This plot was rented by the KSRTC in 2009 from the Kerala Water Authority. However, the move will be successful only if the KSRTC gets ownership of the land, pointed out officials. Elathur panchayat and Kozhikode Corporation had passed several resolutions demanding the KWA to hand over the land to KSRTC, they said.

However, A Pradeep Kumar, Kozhikode MLA countered the view that space at the new bus stand would be insufficient to accommodate the buses. The total number of bus bays at the old KSRTC bus station was only 12 and it has increased to 40 in the new complex. The work of the complex is expected to be completed in four months, he said.

Source: Times of India