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Jalandhar

Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 1:59 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2018, 1:59 AM (IST)

Sans street-lights, illegal activities thrive

Sans street-lights, illegal activities thrive
Jalandhar bus stand enveloped in darkness as no street-lights have been working inside or outside the periphery road. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 15

Despite Jalandhar having been listed for the smart city project around a year and a half ago, the city bus stand, named after Shaheed A-Azam Bhagat Singh, is all immersed in darkness as no street-lights are working inside the premises or outside the periphery road.

Due to this, incidents of theft, snatching and even flesh trade deals are getting reported in the area. According to the General Manager (GM), Roadways, Parneet Minhas, since the bus stand does not come under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ), the street-lights inside and outside the periphery of the bus stand have not been replaced under the street-lights project, where over 65,000 LEDs were installed on major city roads.

“Also, there is no budgetary provision for civic works with the local depot and the budget gets allocated from the head office. However, we have recently given the bus stand to a third party on an operations and maintenance (O&M) basis. We are getting it replaced with the LED lights,” said Minhas.

Presently, the roadways authorities were facing a lot of difficulties in maintaining the bus stand. Though there are around 60 shops inside the bus stand, over 70 per cent of these were not paying any rent as a case has been filed in the High Court.

Also, there is no parking fee for the private bus operators, following which the bus stand is found full at any time during the day and night, causing a lot of inconvenience to the general public and in maintaining law and order inside the premises.

While there are only a few street-light points working inside the premises, there are none in the parking area.

According to a street vendor who sells ready snacks inside the premises, the darkness has proved to be a boon for anti-social elements. “The buses parked inside the bus stand at night act like a hot bed of crime, including satta, drug peddling and even flesh trade. Even many assaults have been were reported inside the premises in the past few months,” said the vendor.

According to Minhas, while the depot was earlier earning around Rs 20 lakh a month from the ‘adda fee’ and advertising revenue, it has now given the contract to a third party at a monthly income of Rs 60 lakh. Besides, the company will also maintain the bus stand.

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