Andhra, Telangana governments ride the modernisation bus
The governments are planning to set up shopping malls, food courts, mini theatres, etc. in these complexes. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s plans of implementation are grander than his neighbour’s. Official sources say the government is mulling over the complete overhaul of all existing major bus stations and their commercial complexes and is in the process of identifying companies it can tie up with for joint ventures.
According to sources in the APSRTC, the state government would build multiplexes after demolishing existing bus stations at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and Tirupati to help the corporation garner additional revenue.
“The government wants to construct multiplexes where bus stations would be set up in the basements and multiplexes and shopping malls would come up above the ground,” the sources said.
The project would be extended to all the districts across the state in a phased manner after completion of the multiplexes at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and Tirupati and Vizag in the first phase.
They can alight at bus-stations and shop there itself and have food without needing to enter the city. They can leave for their towns and villages from the bus station itself. This would ease congestion on the city roads
These complexes will come up under the ‘build, operate and transfer’(BOT) model. This is expected generate revenue close to ₹500 crore per year.
Meanwhile, the first mini-theatre at a bus station in the country, which has been developed at the Vijayawada bus station, is expected to be thrown open to the public in a couple of weeks.
Once these shopping complexes come up in bus station complexes, the people need not enter the city, officials claim. "They can alight at bus-stations and shop there itself and have food without needing to enter the city. They can leave for their towns and villages from the bus station itself. This would ease congestion on the city roads," the sources claimed.
The Telangana government, for its own part, is also gearing up to convert its bus-station complexes into commercial complexes. To start with, the corporation will develop 'smart-movie theatres' in the bus stations, on the lines of Vijayawada.
In a view to transform the whole ambience of the bus-station complexes, TSRTC plans to rope in food, pharmacy and retail chains to open outlets in the stations.
"Apart from generating revenues, the new-generation bus stations would become places where people want to hang out with friends and families for food, shopping and entertainment. We plan to give a new definition to the concept of a bus station," said GV Ramanarao, JMD , TSRTC.
Sprawling bus stations in MGBS, Hayathnagar, Patancheru and Falaknuma in the state capital have the potential to become big commercial centres, said Ramanarao.
In the first phase, smart theatres' are likely to come up in capital bus stations. Later, depending on the viability, the TSRTC has plans for 50 bus stations across district headquarters and aspiring towns such as Yadgirigutta, Sircilla, etc.
“We have received many proposals for mini-theatres and commercial activities. Once a formal decision is made by the government, we would plunge into action. About 70% of the TSRTC's bus stations are expansive and have enough space to start commercial activities with minor modifications, " Ramanarao said.