Panaji : Merely 48 hours after the Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) had celebrated its 37th Anniversary, none in their wildest dream must have thought that one of the busiest KTC bus stand in Goa which also houses the RTO and Kadamba office would be up in flames.
A major fire broke out at around 6:00 am on Monday at Panaji KTC bus stand, gutting several establishments in the premises, including the state transport department’s office. No injury or casualty was reported in the mishap.
On a given day, thousands of commuters travel all across the state from this bus stand besides those who come to the RTO as well as Kadamba office on regular basis. Within the complex, there are several public utility shops like the pharmacy, super market, Goa State Handicraft Emporium, small general stores and a restaurant.
Hours of hectic efforts by nearly dozen fire tenders finally managed to get fire under control. Transport department sources have stated that a week or more will be needed before they get fully operational considering the damage caused to important documents.
“Two of our major sections dealing with enforcement and registration of vehicles were damaged in the fire. We will have to shut down the office for few days,” state transport director Nikhil Desai told reporters outside the site of the mishap.
The exact cause of fire was yet to be ascertained, Desai said, adding that prima facie it is suspected that a short circuit occurred in the supermarket from where the fire spread to the transport department’s office, which is located on the first floor.
During the anniversary function, the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had proposed a ‘’Europe tour’’ for the KTC board officials to ‘’observe and learn from the transport systems existing and replicate successful initiatives in the State, so as to increase revenue and provide better services to the public.
Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar too had stated that the government is exploring the possibility of how the existing bus stands in the State could be converted into bus ports. Funded by the Centre, the terminals would be state-of-the-art premises that would have facilities that one has at airports.