New Del May 2 (IANS) With Delhi Metro already revolutionising public transport system in the national capital, the city now also has a modern, world class inter-state bus terminus at Kashmere Gate .
The revamped terminus, one of the oldest in the country, resembles an airport in its looks and facilities and is expected to handle operations of hundreds of inter-state and local buses and more than one lakh passengers every day.
After missing several deadlines, the renovated Maharana Pratap Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) was thrown open for public use Thursday by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Speaking on the occasion, Dikshit said: “The ISBT is the first of its kind in the country. It has since become a new landmark of the city.”
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Communications Minister and local MP Kapil Sibal, Delhi Transport Minister Ramkant Goswami and local legislator Parlad Singh Sawhney.
The operational area of the terminal was refurbished some three months back at the cost of Rs.75 crore, but was awaiting a formal inauguration ceremony for the city’s busiest ISBT to resume bus operations.
Advertisements, proudly announcing its launch, said: “Get the feel of an airport in the fully renovated ISBT.”
The multi-storey building in Kashmere Gate has now been completely transformed, keeping in view commuters’ convenience as top priority.
The arrival and departure areas have been redesigned to make them passenger friendly and more convenient. The bus circulation plan has been modified and ticket counters have been improved with inquiry booths for a better passenger experience.
The overhauled bus terminal now has an air-conditioned waiting lounge, including glass elevators and escalators. The terminal has also been installed with Public Information System (PIS) to display the bus information and building management control system.
There will be a 24×7 food court modelled after those in malls for passengers and seating arrangement has been made at various places for further public convenience.
To enhance the security arrangements, the terminal has been installed with metal detectors and CCTV cameras. The other facilities include RO system supplying clean water, installation of a sewage treatment plant and LCD-LED screens at the spacious waiting lounge.
The renovated building complex has also been made earthquake resistant.
An estimated 2,000 inter-state buses and 400 local buses operated from Kashmere Gate every day and served more than one lakh passengers at the time when renovation was initiated in July 2011. The number reached almost 1.5 lakh during festivals.
The project was to be completed within eight months after the work was started, but missed several deadlines in the past.
The question that remains is how to maintain this facility and keep it clean, with Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS) to pull out as soon as the operations begins. Further, petty thefts are also a regular feature at the ISBT. Sanitary and electrical fittings go missing very often.
Spread over an area of 53,126 square metres, the Kashmere Gate ISBT, set up in 1976, is the biggest and oldest bus terminal in the country. It has 45 departure bus bays, eight idle bus bays and 13 arrival bus bays.