Uncertainty persists on the bus terminal integrated into Pumpwell
The integrated bus station, proposed at Pumpwell with the main purpose of reducing traffic congestion on Mangaluru’s thoroughfares, did not become a reality even after the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) approved the construction of a bus station. state-of-the-art bus. for private buses on 7.23 acres of land in Pumpwell, in 2014.
Initially, the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) was requested to submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project. KUIDFC submitted the DPR proposing to build a two-storey bus stop with parking facilities for 66 buses on 4.5 acres of land. But, the DPR was rejected as it did not meet MCC’s requirement to provide parking facilities for 150 buses.
After Mangaluru was selected under Smart City Mission, the officials decided to relaunch the project under Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL).
As the dithering over the proposal continued, former Mayor and Congress Corporal Mr Shashidhar Hegde urged the MCC to drop the proposal to develop the transport hub at Pumpwell.
He urged the MCC to identify new land to construct a bus stop for private buses.
“It has been over a decade and we are still stuck with the proposal to build a bus stop at Pumpwell. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had said it was not possible to build a transport hub near NH 66 at Pumpwell. The overflight at Pumpwell also acts as an impediment to the development of a suitable route to the proposed site,” Hegde said.
MCC Mayor Premananda Shetty said the developers refused to take over the project on the PPP model.
Satellite bus stations
As none of the bidders had come forward to build the integrated bus station, Minister of Urban Development Byrathi Basavaraj had suggested building four satellite bus stations.
“Instead of spending Rs 490 crore on a single integrated transport hub, it is better to build four separate bus stations at different locations in the city,” the minister had said.
MP D Vedavyas Kamath said the cabinet approved the PPP mode bus terminus in May 2020.
Incidentally, tenders were issued up to three times, but none of the bidders had shown interest in the bus project.
Now, MSCL plans to implement the project with a new design and revised project cost. The cost of the project will be reduced from Rs 490 crore to Rs 100 crore and the revised project will again be submitted to the Cabinet for approval, MP Vedavyas Kamath has said.
The history of the new bus station dates back to 1994
That Mangaluru needed a new bus stop was first hinted at by then Deputy Commissioner Bharatlal Meena as early as 1994.
Sites for bus stops have been identified at Kottara Chowki, for buses arriving from the Udupi side, and at Mallikatta, for buses arriving from Moodbidri and Karkala and from Bantwal.
The central bus stop was planned at Karangalpady after the sub-jail was moved from the district to the outskirts of the city.
The then MCC commissioner, JR Lobo, had identified a site for the central bus stop near Mahaveera Circle.
Although Lobo and former mayors Devanna Shetty, Ramesh Kotian and Hilda Alva wanted to build a decentralized bus station, the proposal was dropped as the MCC showed no interest in the project.