Renovation over, Bankipore bus depot has turned into a passengers’ delight.
Commuters waiting for buses can now relax sitting in steel chairs placed in front of ticket counters. They can also pass the time at the portico.
Sweating while waiting is a thing of the past now. Ceiling fans have been installed at the ticket counters’ enclosure as well as at the portico.
Provision has been made for a canteen, but it is not operational now. A toilet has also been built for passengers. Taking into consideration the passengers’ safety, cabins for security personnel have been constructed.
Façades made of modern cladding material, including glasses, have given the terminal a smart look. Concrete bus parking bays have been built in front and rear of the passenger terminal. Driveways have been laid for smooth movement of buses inside the depot.
The image makeover of the bus depot — a property of Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) — started in January, 2011. A year and nine months on, the renovated depot became ready for use. Rs 5.4 crore was spent on refurbishing the bus terminus.
Frequent travellers are upbeat after the renovation of the bus depot. “The Bankipore bus depot is looking far better than what it used to be earlier. A few years ago, the terminal building was in a dilapidated shape and a den of criminals. There was hardly any place to sit. The situation used to be worse in monsoon. Now, this bus depot is on a par with those in developed cities,” said Ajay Kumar, a frequent traveller from Patna to Gopalganj.
The BSRTC handed the task of renovating the depot to Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC).
“We carried out the renovation of Bankipore bus depot by involving private contractors on request from the BSRTC,” said Prem Nath, the manager (technical) of the central project implementation unit (CPIU) of BSRDC in Patna.
Sources said BSRDC invited bids from firms intending to renovate the bus depot in October, 2010. A company was selected in November. It was asked to commence the work from January, 2011.
Rajeshwar Prasad Singh, deputy general manager (technical), CPIU, Patna, said the selected firm was supposed to complete all renovation works within six months but it did not even start work till April, 2011. “Consequently, its contract was cancelled and smaller firms were involved for executing assignments in segments like structural work, electrical work, furniture works and façade-related work among others,” said Singh.
After giving a fresh look to the depot, the BSRTC has initiated the process of selecting an agency to redevelop the terminal as a bus depot-cum-commercial complex in public-private partnership mode.
According to sources, the proposed bus terminal-cum-commercial complex would have amenities like shopping complex, cinema, food court and ATMs. It may also have lodging facilities for travellers. The estimated expenses would be Rs 55 crore.
Sources said the BSRTC had selected five firms in July on the basis of applications received against the request for quotation. The project has now entered the request for proposal (RFP) stage. “The firms would be asked to submit bids once the RFP documents are vetted by the law department and Infrastructure Development Authority (IDA), and the cabinet gives its approval. The law department recently vetted the RFP documents. It will now go to the IDA and then to the cabinet,” said a source.