December 17, 2016 4:52:35 am
After several delays, the new terminal at Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), which is named after Sikh martyr Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, was finally inaugurated by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in Phase VI on Friday. Only one terminal of the bus stand will be operational for now. Two other terminals are yet to be constructed.
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The construction of the ISBT was started in 2009. The government had then stated that the project would be completed by June 2011. Four extensions were given to the company for completing the construction. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had also issued notices to the company for not completing the work in time. In 2014 GMADA had warned the company that they would scrap the contract. The dates for inaugurating the terminal have been changed twice in less than a month.
The Punjab roadways buses coming from Chandigarh started halting at the new bus terminal from Friday. The Rs 700-crore bus terminus is spread over an area of around seven acres. It will be completed in three phases. In the first phase, terminal A has been completed. It will take around two years to complete terminals B and C. As many as 1,900 buses could ply from the terminus which will remain operational for 24 hours.
The new terminal has ticket counters, parking lots, space for parking buses, drop areas and waiting lounges. The terminus also has wi-fi facility apart from a multiplex. The multiplex, though, is not operational yet.
It is the country’s first air-conditioned bus terminus which is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, said the deputy chief minister. He added that all the Punjab roadways buses and Himachal Roadways buses would now transit from the new bus terminus.
Gurjeet Singh Johar, chairman of C and C Constructions Limited which constructed the ISBT, said that the terminal A, fitted with CCTV cameras, was complete and now buses could ply from there.
Although the Deputy Commissioner issued orders that all buses would now ply from the new bus, some passengers continued to go to the old bus stand in Phase VIII. The contractors at the old bus stand said that a notice was pasted by the local administration on Thursday evening that no bus would come here. Some passengers complained that they would face difficulties as the new bus stand was at the far end of the city.
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