Arpita Srivastava | NT
MAPUSA: Chaos is the order of the day at the Mapusa bus stand as there is absolutely no control on vendors and bus operators. Unauthorised parking by motorists and encroachment of open spaces by kiosk owners is rampant with some vendors occupying area reserved for bus parking.
The terminus, which is the biggest in North Goa, caters to a large number of buses and commuters. Cleanliness has taken a back seat with people urinating at many spots.
Many commuters traveling far and wide park their vehicles inside the bus stand to evade payment of parking fees. This limits the movement of pedestrians and buses.
To make matters worse, two-wheelers use the pathway towards Union Pharmacy side of the bus stand obstructing entry of commuters into the bus stand.
Also the only entrance to the sub-yard market is from the bus stand as a result of which people visiting the market bring vehicles into the bus stand causing traffic blockages especially during peak hours.
Officials have also failed to control the number of vendors, beggars and hawkers who have encroached inside the bus stand. Unruly bus operators exacerbate the problem and fights over timings are very common.
Expressing displeasure over the unhygienic condition in the bus stand, a daily commuter Sonia Naik said, “The state of affairs at the bus stand is deteriorating. Authorities have failed to maintain cleanliness inside the bus stand and departure area for the shuttle bus services has turned into a urinating spot.”
Another commuter Sudesh Arolkar claimed that the number of private vehicles including two-wheelers and four-wheelers entering the bus stand has increased since this is only access to enter the sub-yard market. Congestion is also caused as vendors sit on the main road in front of sub-yard market.”
Another commuter said, “The access to the bus stand from the Union Pharmacy side which was reserved for commuters to walk into the bus stand is now frequently used by two-wheelers to enter the bus stand with some parking their vehicles due to which inconvenience is caused to commuters. Two-wheelers zoom past the pedestrians risking their lives.”
President of North Goa Bus Owners Association Vithal Salgaokar said, “The bus stand is meant for buses and generally two-wheelers and cars are not allowed. But at the Mapusa bus stand there is no control on private vehicles and so many are parked inside whole day as a result there is no sufficient parking space for buses.”
He further said, “People park two-wheelers inside the bus stand to evade paying parking fees due to which during peak hours long queues of buses is visible.”
Prakash Pokle, traffic controller of KTC bus stand said, “Whenever we take action against the bus drivers or the private vehicles parked inside the bus stand people tend to enter into arguments with us and do not listen to us. On various occasions, we have asked kiosk owners to remove encroachment which they do but again return to their ways. Despite having dedicated pay parking for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, people still prefer to park their vehicles at various corners of the bus stand to avoid parking fees.”
Deputy Chief Minister and Mapusa MLA Francis D’Souza said, “The bus stand belongs to corporation, they are earning revenue from it but they are not managing it well. I tried to intervene so many times but their inspectors do not do anything.”