Do we really need these super-slick bus stops?

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: As all of us have noticed, the humble bus stops that we had all over the City have started undergoing some drastic cosmetic changes. This is due to the new policy of the City Corporation in allowing them to become sources of good revenue through paid advertisements.

Until very recent times bus stops were just staid, charmless places, announcing meaning-less bus timings where seemingly bored people stood under a concrete shelter cursing their seemingly endless wait. But now they have become very bright and colourful with translit plastic boards all around, announcing the virtues of the new products or services of the advertising sponsors.

It is a different matter though that I have still not noticed any marked change in the dull expressions on the faces of all those who stand and wait there!

Nevertheless, from the increasing difficulty that I face every passing day in avoiding angry buses while driving around the city, I have naturally surmised that the number of city buses has certainly increased, making waiting for them a little less painful. However, the priorities behind this ‘plastic surgery’ of our bus shelters seem rather lopsided.

Last Tuesday night I happened to see one bus stop in the process of such a make-over (in picture, above).

It was getting a set of exactly thirty-three fluorescent tube lights of 40 watts each.

Now, this translates into 1,280 watts of electricity consumption per hour, which to me seems rather wasteful considering the fact that each bus stop is illuminated for almost five hours every day. Although our government can easily say that the sponsors pay for it very willingly, can we as an energy-strapped nation afford it?

In an environmental sense, electricity does not come cheap to us considering the strain its generation imposes on our already scarce natural resources like coal and oil. Is this kind of progress not totally unmindful of the future?

Year after year, for almost half the year, we regularly go through an energy crisis that cripples our industrial production and puts every housewife and student to much inconvenience with untimely power cuts, especially during exam time. We curse our fate and the summer heat alike, both at home and the office and yet we never learn the simple lessons that life tries to teach us.

I think our government should look a little beyond just its ledger books while giving permission to business enterprises, shops and especially malls, our new found pride, to indulge in the wasteful use of electricity. We can certainly cut our energy use in half if we do this and this can be the best that we can do for our planet and our progeny.

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, where a longer version of this piece appeared)

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9 Responses to “Do we really need these super-slick bus stops?”

  1. asha Says:

    The companies who put up these kinds of fancy illuminated bus stops should be advised to go in for solar energy to power these fluroscent lights. Also they could try CFL lights or LED lights instead of fluroscent lights. That can save a lot of energy and there is no burden on the government to supply electricity to these bus stops

  2. Sunil Says:

    Interesting point of view. You do not want the people/companies to use the power even though they are willing to pay for it?? 1200 Watts per hour you want to save. what next, you don’t me to iron my clothes because my iron box burns 1500 watts? Why not extend the same logic to all the IPL matches? They consume more power for light towers just to provide entertainment, what a sacrilege!!! I’m sure we can create a law (against prevention of) power consumption and probably a ministry or lokpal to enforce it.

  3. chidu22 Says:

    Kudos to Dr Nayeem for this article. As usual the style was good, the topic was very relevant and thought provoking.
    Once again, the shortsightedness of the corporation is evident in this. I hope we can mobilise public opinion against such moves.

  4. FirstReality Says:

    So your complaint is against light bulbs. Say that.
    slick·er, slick·est, noun, adverb. adjective. 1. smooth and glossy; sleek. 2. smooth in manners, speech, etc.; suave .

    I find nothing wrong with super slick anything.

  5. the colonel Says:

    why not.

    the buses dont stop there anyway

    releives tension

  6. Narayan Chabbi Says:

    I entirely agree with the author. look at the powershut downs that our villages suffer and the health facilities. no power should be given.The ad during the day will do.

    Narayan Chabbi

  7. Gouri Satya Says:

    The old open bus stops were not ideal for passengers, particularly when rains came or when the long masonary seats were occupied by some to sleep. The present ones are convenient and also illuminate the dark surroundings preventing crimes or harassment to passengers. However, solar energy should be harnessed for illuminating them.

  8. Sachin LS Says:

    I don’t think any company needs so much of hype in advertisement that too at the cost of national waste of electricity.
    If the companies are ready to pay, then why don’t they put in their money and buy a bus to government with their advertisements for the common man to travel. Its also useful to everyone and also useful to the company as it’ll have helped people and in return it can advertise them more and also it ll be a moving advertisement unlike a stationary advertisement in case of bus stop!!
    So in my opinion, companies need to think bit broad and utilise their assets in a better way.

  9. vaidya Says:

    I wouldn’t mind some bus shelters to give me an idea where the bus should stop! Sick of having buses stop wherever they feel like!

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