Hyderabad: TSRTC bus commuters burn in heat due to lack of shelters

Hyderabad: Twenty-year-old Abhi Shireni, a student of Priyadarshini Government Degree College, is a regular bus commuter. And like thousands of others, weather changes makes travel difficult for her, with the last two weeks becoming more and more unbearable thanks for the scorching summer heat, wherein maximum temperatures go over 40 degree Celsius.

Commuting issues aside, a major issue that Shireni and other bus travellers face us the lack of shelters in Hyderabad. “I have been travelling by bus for the last two years, and every day especially in the summer it’s difficult for me to stand,” she said, adding that she travels from the Gudimalkapur to Gandhi Bhavan bus stand everyday.

Hyderabad has 1200 bus shelters for the thousands of people who use Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses everyday, which are not enough. While the buses are run by the TSRTC, the shelters are managed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), which essentially leases out the space to advertisement agencies for revenue generation.

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And caught between the two are hapless commuters, who face hardships as the number of shelters need to be increased.

Another local who works as a brand promoter, Jessica Ravibaba, said, “I always faced problems as I have to travel from Badlaguda to Suncity for my job purpose which takes one and half hours (105 minutes). Although the bus stop is too far from my house I have to walk around 3 kilometers (Km) to reach the bus stop.

Ravibaba added that she has been using TSRTC buses for two years as well. “It is very difficult to stand on the road during monsoons and summers. Last year, I even complained to the government officials but they didn’t respond,” she told Siasat.com. Many commuters also said they face a similar issue everyday while travelling to Panjagutta, Attapur, Mallepally, Chandrayan Gutta, Hyderguda and many other areas.

GSR Chaitanya, a researcher who works on urban transport, remarked, “Advertisement agencies shouldn’t maintain bus shelters because many times they erect bus shelters in the area where the financial health is well or they can advertise. The second problem is if you go to the bus shelters at night, many don’t have lights. The TSRTC operates a night bus service and it’s all the more important to have lights in the shelters,” he explained.

When Siasat.com contacted GHMC officials about the issue, one of them said, “We have made a request for more than 300 bus stations in the city which will be erected as soon as those are sanctioned. pass. We have not received any complaint from anyone nor has TSRTC hasn’t us any tender,” he added.

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