Thinkgs have not changed at the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) amid announcements of newer attempts to upgrade facilities.
A glaring example is the vanishing of television sets from the Ahmedabad central bus station near Geeta Mandir. These sets were installed way back in 2001-02 in association with a private firm. The understanding was that GSRTC would allow the firm to install television sets at the central bus station in lieu of a part of the revenue.
But,around 28 television sets installed at different spots,vanished within a year.
Where the sets have made their way to,no one apparently knows. What is now left at the central bus station is the dug up remnants of television clamps,making the place look ugly.
Shopkeepers in the vicinity say the sets disappeared mysteriously. When they were installed,it was promised that they would be a boon to passengers and help kill their boredom.
Among other items that made the vanishing trick were mobile phones provided on the buses to enable passengers to stay connected with their near and dear ones. It is suspected that many of the phones have made their way to the conductors houses for their personal use.
GSRTC Managing Director G R Aloria said the sets were removed from the premises long ago and that it was an old thing. He said the private party that had rented the space had defaulted on payment of rent to the Corporation. We removed the television sets for non-payment of rent, he said,adding that the sets were in possession of the Corporation.
He said the party concerned was slapped with a case for eviction and recovery of rentals.
The latest hearing in the case was on January 29 and we are expecting a ruling shortly, Aloria said. He added that he did not know if the relatives of some officials in the Corporation had any connection with the firm owners and if they had benefited out of the deal,or had a role in the default.
Aloria said that to remove the confusion,the Corporation will soon come up with a comprehensive policy,which will be applicable to all cities in the state,as regards the installation of television sets and the introduction of other facilities.
It is going to be a foolproof mechanism and revenue sharing will be worked out, he said.
He added that he did not know if mobile phones provided on GSRTC buses had made their way to the homes of conductors.