The first impression that comes into mind while entering Shimla-the majestic hills, the dotted houses, the old world charm-doesn’t stay the same as soon as one enters the bus stand, the supposed and only ISBT of Shimla. Garbage heaps, potholes, craters, stinking toilets and the nagging coolies is what one faces at the inter-state bus terminus managed by the HRTC. The dilapidated condition of this terminus puts to test the passengers endurance who board and un-board the HRTC and other private buses daily, however the officers seem to have well-adapted to these. One step without tracing your path and you might be in shit or standing in between a garbage heap.
From the entrance to the exit point, the entire bus stand is a chaos. The daily boarders leave tourists would also be apprehensive to walk around the place for the fear of breaking their limbs. There is no good time to be on the bus stand, the mornings would be greeted by howling coolies and taxi drivers, the evenings score for a chaos with stink and garbage, the summers combine the two and many other factors like dust and smoke while the rainy seasons won’t let you go without spoiled shoes and don’t be surprised if some passing bus splashes dirty water on you.
The toilets are nothing but useless unless you have special sensory organs that shut down on your call. Such conditions force the passengers to answer the call of nature here and there, resulting in more sickening condition. The stalls owners aren’t concerned about the hygiene as well. Comparing it with other ISBT’s like at Chandigarh or Delhi, one would easily accept that the conditions are indeed better there. Stinking toilets might be a problem everywhere but they indeed score more when it comes to infrastructure, hygiene and other such scales. How much you complain or crib about it, the conclusion is-we don’t have a choice!