|One of the new seating areas at the Jadavpur terminus with fans and lights and (below) a bus with a door missing. Pictures by Amit Datta
The more than 50-year-old bus terminus at Jadavpur will be inaugurated on Friday after a Rs 1-crore facelift. Transport minister Madan Mitra had made a slew of promises but a reality check told a different story. Seating areas and a fresh coat of blue and white paint on the walls were the only changes in sight. Metro takes stock.
Seating area: Seven shaded seating areas have been built along the walls of the terminus. The shades made of concrete, fibre-glass and asbestos are fitted with ceiling fans —each costing Rs 1,600 — and CFL tubelights and decorated with laminated pictures. The seats are metal and iron.
Illumination: Six lamps have been installed and old street lights replaced with new ones.
Cleanliness: Compared with a month ago, the terminus is cleaner with fresh paint on the walls, bleaching powder sprinkled at places and the seating areas free of garbage. But there was no one to stop people from urinating or spitting.
What has not changed
Illegal parking: Seven cars were seen parked inside the terminus — a no-parking zone. Some of the cars were parked in front of a no-parking signage put up by Calcutta police. Bus drivers complained that illegal parking led to chaos at the entry and exit points. Cops seen standing on the road nearby did nothing to check illegal parking.
Policing: A police kiosk and a console box at two ends of the terminus had no cops. The kiosk was locked.
Shortage of buses: A total of 65 buses on six different routes ply from the terminus. Most of them are overcrowded during peak hours.
Condition of buses: Most of the buses at the terminus were in a sorry state. A bus of route S9 had its front gate blocked with a rope to make up for a missing door. In another bus, ropes were used to tie a window frame. Most buses at the terminus spewed black smoke.
Promises not kept:
Cafetaria: The terminus was to have a cafetaria but space crunch played spoilsport. “Our engineers are trying to find a suitable place for the café. For now, we are inaugurating the terminus without it,” the minister said.
Electronic information display system: A digital board highlighting routes and timings was to be put up but has been kept on hold. “We will install it shortly,” Mitra said.
Private guard: Three men were deployed to ensure security of passengers and guide them. But none was seen on Friday evening. “They will join duty from Saturday,” the minister said.