The Telegraph
Thursday , December 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Anything but bus stand

From makeshift markets to temporary homes, one can find everything but public vehicles to board at the city bus stands.

Hardly any bus stop is free of encroachments. While some house tea stalls and betel kiosks, a few have turned into full-fledged markets. Worse, people have settled down in some of them.

Commuters said that the idea of stopping at bus stops was never there in Patna in the first place.

Harendra Kumar Singh, a bus commuter, said: “Here, rules are meant to be broken. These bus stops are just for show. Most of them have turned into makeshift markets and homes. Some of them are used for illegal activities like drinking and gambling. I have never seen a bus to stop at a stand. They stop everywhere, but the stands. We are now used to it. Authorities are not much bothered either.

The district administration shirked the responsibility of evicting encroachers from the bus stops, saying they were the civic body’s property.

Patna Municipal Corporation mayor Afzal Imam said steps would be taken to modernise the bus stops.

The Telegraph on Wednesday went around the town to check the condition of the city bus stops. At the end of the day, the inference was they were anything but bus stands. See a few for yourself:

At home

Stand number: 20

Location: Frazer Road

Scene: The bus stop has turned into a home of two families, comprising four adults and at least five children. Some clothes and tarpaulin have been used to cover the entire shaded area. There is a small kitchen also.

Cool comment: A resident of the makeshift home said: “No one tells us anything. We have no other place to stay.”

Fallout: No space for buses to stop and commuters to stand.

Cuppa centre

Stand number: 17

Location: Biscomaun Towers

Scene: Filthy. There is a tea stall. It opens every day. In daytime, it turns into a two-wheeler stand for a few. After dusk some rickshaw-pullers live, cook and sleep there.

Cool comment: A rickshaw-puller said: “This is our home. Buses can stand anywhere.”

Fallout: No space for buses to stop and commuters to stand.

Salon site

Stand number: 10

Location: Kargil Chowk

Scene: A person was found sleeping. A big chair used by roadside barbers suggested that a “salon” operates from there. There is a tea stall also.

Cool comment: “There is a tea stall here. But today its owner has not come,” said a betel shop owner in front of the bus stop.

Fallout: No space for buses to stop and commuters to stand.

Cart corner

Stand number: 21

Location: LIC office, Dakbungalow Road

Scene: The entire bus stop has turned into a cart (thela) stand. Some cart-pullers were seen playing cards.

Cool comment: A cart-puller said with a smile: “Why should a passenger stand here? Buses stop anywhere. This is our thela stand.”

Fallout: No space for buses to stop and commuters to stand.

Market mania

Stand number: 18

Location: Near hotel Maurya

Scene: The stop has turned into a marketplace with all kinds of shops encroaching upon it. Some shoppers thronged at a betel shop and a tea stall there. A bicycle repair shop was also seen.

Cool comment: “The government should give space to people like us first before trying to remove us,” the bicycle repair shop owner said.

Fallout: No space for buses to stop and commuters to stand.

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