The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Salt Lake shoots down cop plan for kiosks in bus sheds

A proposal by policemen to construct bus sheds with kiosks in Salt Lake has got short shrift from civic officers. “We have agreed in principle on constructing bus sheds and traffic signals. But there should not be any stalls and public telephone booths in the sheds, as has been proposed,” said Bidhannagar Municipality chairman Dilip Gupta on Saturday.

The municipal board, at its monthly meeting on Friday, okayed the proposal to construct bus sheds without stalls and STD booths. “Our decision will be communicated to the police,” Gupta added.

Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, Salt Lake, refused to comment on the issue. “I am yet to get any official communication from the municipality,” Nand said.

The police had initially planned to set up 25 bus sheds in different parts of Salt Lake to curb road accidents in the township. The sheds were proposed to be built in collaboration with private parties.

“The bus sheds will be given on lease to private companies, who will maintain them and, in return, they will be given advertisement rights,” a police officer said. The police plan envisaged kiosks, magazine stalls and phone booths, as well as seating arrangements, in the sheds. “If such stalls are set up, people are bound to crowd the place, causing even more traffic snarls,” a municipal official said.

The police took exception to the reason put forward by the municipality for rejecting their plan. “If a traffic jam is caused by kiosks, the police will take care of it,” a police officer said.

Bidhannagar sub-divisional officer Baidyanath Mandal said the municipality and police had jointly identified five spots for traffic sheds in Karunamoyee, one of the busiest junctions in the township. “The bus sheds should be built 50 metres from the crossings and the municipality will provide the space,” Mandal said.

According to municipal officers, the measurements and terms and conditions for constructing the sheds will be fixed by the municipality and a tender will be called. “Many big advertisement companies have sent proposals to the municipality for constructing the sheds,” an official informed.

Municipal officers allege that the “police are trying to complete the project in haste. There are certain municipal procedures, like getting the proposal approved at the chairman-in-council and board meetings. So, it will take some time for the sheds to materialise,” a senior municipality officer said. If the rules were not strictly followed for this big project, “it would give detractors a chance to raise a stink,” the civic officials added.

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