It is possibly the most-neglected public space in Kochi. The KSRTC bus station, where hundreds frequent every day, reels under official apathy with unhygienic surroundings and no basic sanitation facilities. Everything from the water cooler to wash basins to the rest rooms are filthy and unusable though the station is situated in a prominent spot.
A picture of apathy:
In a place as busy as the station, there is no drinking water facility. Though there is a water cooler donated by Thiruvairanikkulam Temple Committee, is missing. Same with the wash basins, which looks worse than a garbage pit.
“We donated the water cooler after the KSRTC made a request. It was their responsibility to take care of it,” said Nandakumar, manager, Thiruvairanikkulam Temple Committee to Express.
Despite many people from all over the state hitting the station, there are no proper seating facility here. Of the few seats available, most are the damaged bus seats. The situation at the ladies waiting room is worse. “We have complained many times about this but authorities have so far turned a deaf ear,” said Reshma, a commuter.
Though KSRTC holds the large portion of the city’s prime land that sprawl from the South Station to the Ambedkar Stadium, the department is yet to provide a proper parking space for passengers. Private agencies make a windfall leasing out their land exclusively for parking. But, the KSRTC authorities say they can’t control the number of vehicles that use the area if they open their land for parking.
Nightmare for women
Once the lights go off, the KSRTC is a hub of anti-social activities, especially flesh trade. Fights between flesh trade gangs are a norm here.
“Even the ladies waiting room is unsafe for women as pimps lure in customers here,” said a women.
Ever since the then Transport Minister Balakrishna Pillai inaugurated the toilets to the public in 2003, no maintenance work have been carried out.
The toilets reek making life tough for commuters. Though two green toilets were installed using the MLA fund of Hibi Eden, both are in a dilapidated state.
“We are shocked to see the state of toilets in Kochi, a city that has a prominent space on the world map. How can you expect anyone to use it,” said Mathew Stricanne and his wife Tiphaine Heslar from France.
They added: “Look behind the bus parking space. The stench is unbearable. The sad state of toilets force people to use the area.”