September 28, 2020

Bus stops return to buses, almost

Patna: Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally swung into action to remove squatters from the various bus stops a day after The Telegraph highlighted how several bus stops in Patna had turned into parking lots and vendor’s resting zone.

The Telegraph had in its report on Sunday highlighted how bus stops, including the ones near Kargil Chowk, Fraser Road, Bailey Road, Patna Junction, Patna Medical College and Hospital and Gaighat, had been encroached upon. Earlier, while speaking to The Telegraph, Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (Buidco) officials had claimed they had given maintenance and advertisement rights of the new swanky bus stops to private agencies. But both PMC and Buidco had washed their hands of encroachment at the old bus stops.

During Monday’s drive, PMC did not take help from policemen. Its own task force (third and fourth grade corporation officials) helped remove squatters from over a dozen bus stops in the PMC’s New Capital circle. The drive began in the afternoon and went on till the evening.

New Capital circle executive officer Shailesh Kumar told The Telegraph he had got a call from PMC commissioner Keshav Ranjan Prasad, who asked him to conduct the anti-encroachment drive at bus stops on Monday itself.

“The commissioner called me yesterday (Sunday) after seeing a report in your newspaper regarding encroachment at bus stops,” Shailesh said. “Today, our team removed squatters from all bus stops in my circle. I’m also going to write to police stations to ensure that once the squatters are removed they don’t come back.”

He said the PMC’s squad removed squatters from bus stops near Kargil Chowk, Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir (on Fraser Road), S.K. Memorial Hall and Rajvanshi Nagar among others. The squad also did a survey of bus stops such as the one outside Patna High Court, outside the zoo and Patna Women’s College where squatters are usually not a problem. PMC officials said the squad had been instructed to visit as many bus stops as possible to remove squatters.

The team succeeded in removing squatters from most places except Patna Junction and PMCH. They promised to remove the squatters from these bus stops too.

Nageshwar Prasad, a Kidwaipuri resident, was surprised to find no squatters at the bus stand. “I hope the civic body remains active like this throughout the year. Residents, too, should co-operate with the corporation,” he said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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