ISBTs to get facelift with helipads, shopping arcades

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 18:47

New Delhi: Major inter-state bus terminals
across the country are set to get a major make-over soon with swanky branded stores, entertainment hubs and helipads to
welcome travellers.

Boasting of world-class facilities, about 50 such
Inter-State Bus Terminals (ISBTs) could come up across the
country through public-private partnerships (PPP) in a few
years, sources said.

The idea is to covert the ISBTs into business centres
with corporate offices and high-end hotels, besides shopping
arcade and cineplexes for entertainment.

With an investment of more than Rs 500 crore, the first
such ISBT will be at Mohali, Punjab, one of the entry points
to Chandigarh. "Around 50 such projects could take off in the
near future under the PPP mode across the country," C&C
Constructions Chairman Gurjeet Singh Johar said.

The Gurgaon-based firm is implementing the project and is
upbeat about its success. Johar said: "I see huge potential in
this. This is the place (ISBT) where people go out of
compulsion because they have to take a bus and this could turn
into an excellent business opportunity for many."

C&C Constructions has already tied up with big players
like Big Bazaar and Cinepolis for leasing out space. In
addition, the Hilton chain of hotels has evinced interest in
space for a five-star hotel.

Some of the features of the upcoming Mohali Junction ISBT
include a helipad, branded and grocery stores and
high-definition screens, besides other entertainment
facilities.

"The helipad will cater to foreigners, particularly NRIs
who land at the Chandigarh airport and want to travel (by air)
to the hinterlands of Punjab, where there are no airports," a
company official said.

It would be the country`s first ISBT with two-and-a-half
levels of parking space accommodating nearly 2,500 cars.
Johar is confident of the space becoming an attraction
for commuters and residents alike.

He added that such swanky bus terminals will not only
make life easier for travellers, but also help the government
maximise its revenue and come up with world class
infrastructure.
Dubbing it as a win-win situation for both government and
private players, he said the PPP model is best suited for
state governments, as all the investment is being made by the
company, which in return gets the rights to run the ISBT for
20 years from the day it starts commercial operations.
While the company fills its coffers by leasing out space
for both official and commercial purposes during the 20-year
concession period, the government builds world-class
infrastructure without shelling out even a single penny.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 18:47

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