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Posted at: May 6, 2018, 1:59 AM; last updated: May 6, 2018, 1:59 AM (IST)

New Mohali ISBT fails to gain pace

Despite closure of old bus stand at Phase VIII, new project could not attract buses, visitors

Akash Ghai

Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 5

Despite closure of the old bus stand at Phase VIII, here, the new Baba Banda Singh Bahadur ISBT witnesses no improvement when it comes to plying of public transport buses.

If the C&C Company authorities, which is handling the ISBT project, are to be believed, the number of buses coming to the bus stand daily is nearly 350 and the footfall of visitors is less than 500.

“Closing down of the old bus stand causes no improvement in terms of coming of buses at the new ISBT, here,” said Col CVS Sehgal (retd), the chief general manager of the company, adding that no change in the number of buses passing through the new ISBT and footfall of visitors is evident after the development (closing of old bus stand) at the new air-conditioned bus stand, which has top-class facilities, including escalators, clean washrooms, drinking water, proper seating arrangements, lifts and ticket counters. Col Sehgal lamented that despite closure of the old bus stand, private buses were still plying from the spot.

“Another mini-bus stand is being run from a bus queue shelter in front of the Civil Hospital at Phase VI, where most of the passengers board the buses. Most of the buses that stop at this bus queue shelter skip the bus stand. Despite our repeated requests, the authorities did not shut the bus queue shelter, which is a stone’s throw away from the ISBT,” he said.

The project, on which around Rs 200 crore has been spent so far, also failed to attract any shopkeeper due to obvious reasons.

“When the bus stand has no buses and visitors as well, why would businessmen visit the place for commercial purposes,” said Col Sehgal.

The previous Badal government in the state had promised arrival of as many as 1,932 buses daily at the new ISBT.

Termination of contract under arbitration

As the company is yet to settle the issue of payment of hefty fine on it by GMADA for delaying the project, the issue of termination of its contract is lying in arbitration. The GMADA has imposed a fine of around Rs 55 crore on the company for delaying the project and later started the process of termination of its contract in this regard. Then the company had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for arbitration to resolve the issue but later it had taken a U-turn and requested GMADA to decide it ‘amicably’. While Col Sehgal claimed that more than two meetings have already taken place with the authorities concerned to resolve the issue amicably, senior GMADA functionaries said the matter was still lying in arbitration. It is to be noted that GMADA had imposed the fine on the company around three years ago when the company had missed a number of deadlines for the completion of the project.

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