Deplorable condition of bus stand; Rights panel directs KSRTC MD to submit report within 4 weeks
The appalling and deplorable conditions which had been the bane of the KSRTC bus station here for several years now look set to be addressed finally with the Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) on Monday asking the KSRTC managing director to inspect the bus station immediately and file a report within four weeks.
KSHRC acting chairman P Mohandas on Monday inspected the bus station and decided to register a suo motu case . The KSHRC chairman said he decided to visit the bus station in the wake of repeated complaints to the rights panel regarding the terrible conditions prevailing there.
In a statement, Mohandas said the condition of the KSRTC bus station appeared horrible and deplorable. “Why have the authorities turned a blind eye to this blatant violation of human rights. The taxpayers have the right to ask the authorities why they are subjected to such subhuman treatment. Personally, I could not come up with a logical explanation,” he said.
“I hereby direct the managing director to inspect the KSRTC bus stand urgently and file a report within four weeks. The civil engineer responsible for the new construction on the southern part of the bus stand terminal should appear in person before the camp court at Ernakulam during the rights panel’s sitting next month,” he said.
Mohandas first visited the rooms where the conductors and drivers slept during the night. “They are subjected to subhuman conditions.They have a cot to sleep just like a double-decker bed so that two persons can occupy one cot. The fans there exist only in name. Nobody knows when the building which is decrepit will collapse. The windows do not have shutters. There are other openings on the walls through which mosquitoes can easily enter. All of them sleep without any mosquito nets. In a nutshell, their plight seems so deplorable and subhuman. They are forced to put up with conditions much worse than those endured by the migrant workers,” the statement said.
“It was told the proposal for a new KSRTC terminal has been approved and construction is under way. But there has been no progress so far on this front. I have visited the new structure built by the KSRTC for shifting its workshop. It seems to have been done without any proper planning. By merely looking at the building, one can easily see through the engineers’ complete lack of efficiency.
The new walls are full of cracks and it could collapse at any time. The engineer concerned must be made personally liable for the construction of the said structure or at least a Vigilance probe should be conducted into it urgently. I have also visited the various office rooms. It all seems so pathetic,” he said. Mohandas also found there is hardly a room in the bus station which does not get water-logged during rain.
“The appearance of rooms makes this abundantly clear. As for the police aid post, the less said the better. Restrooms for passengers become inundated during the rains. Many stalwarts have lorded over the Transport Department. But the department’s lot has remained the same. The staff building and the entire infrastructure urgently need a revamp. The situation reminds us of the blatant human rights violation of daily commuters. No one can have a cup of water or tea from the restaurants functioning at the bus stand since they run the risk of picking up contagious and infectious diseases. The water tank and septic tanks are situated inside a closed corridor and I saw filth which leaked out from the septic tank lying near the water tank,” he said.
Express has been reporting about the pathetic condition of the bus station regularly. When Express contacted KSRTC officials, they said a new bus station is under consideration. “The annual repair works are carried out. Since the bus station is located in a low-lying area with the drainage system remaining clogged, water-logging is a major issue. Similarly, dumping of waste on the bus station premises is frequent,” said an officer in the KSRTC’s Ernakulam Zone.