MARGAO: Just a casual glance at the prototype of the proposed Ultra-Modern Bus Terminus and the Fatorda Margao Bus Terminus designed by a Delhi consultant, but which had come a cropper, would give a common man an impression that the proposed bus terminus’ resembled real estate development than a common man’s bus stand.
For, the imposing buildings designed to house trade and commerce, including shopping malls, multiplexes, etc. proposed in the plan completely overshadowed the bus stand concept, leaving citizens to wonder whether the concept was to exploit the prime space commercially or put in place a bus stand offering basic amenities for the commuters.
In fact, when Congress-turned-BJP Margao MLA Digambar Kamat descended at the Margao KTC bus stand last week to partake in the launching of the Mhaji Bus Scheme, he must have come across the foundation stone laid by him around 12 years ago for an Ultra-Modern Bus Terminus at the existing bus stand on Dussehra Day in 2011 when he presided over the State as the Chief Minister of the Congress-led government.
Plea to take the bus terminus to its logical conclusion
For, Kamat made a fervent plea to the Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho from the platform of the Mhaji Bus Scheme launching to take the bus terminus project proposed by him in 2011 to its logical conclusion. Sources said the Ultra-Modern Bus Terminus project proposed by Kamat at the fag-end of his stint as Chief Minister did not take off following a change in guard when the BJP under then Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar returned back to power in 2012.
Sources in the know pointed out that the Ultra-Modern Bus Terminus did not find favour with late Parrikar for the simple reason that the terminus resembled more like a commercial hub than a bus stand.
For five long years, between 2012-16, the Ultra-Modern Bus Terminus was literally buried deep in the cold storage, only to be revived around 2017 when Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai propped up the Manohar Parrikar-led government.
Proposals to revive the bus terminus project in the past
Sources said Sardesai managed to convince late Parrikar to revive the project through the same Delhi-based consultant engaged by the Digambar Kamat-dispensation in 2011, culminating in the consultant holding a power point presentation with the stakeholders, including bus owners, rickshaw and motorcycle pilots, etc.
Officials in the know pointed out there was not much difference between Kamat’s Ultra-Modern Bus Terminus and the rechristened Fatorda Margao Bus Terminus, the only major difference being a new proposal incorporated in the plan to accommodate a multi-level parking project in the commercial hub at the existing bus stand. The rechristened project, however, hit a block again after Parrikar’s demise and Sardesai’s exit from the Pramod Sawant Cabinet in 2019.