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Vadodara boasts of airport- like bus terminal.

AIR- CONDITIONED waiting rooms, luggage trolleys, wheelchairs, cloak rooms, two- storey parking lot, a commercial mall, eateries, a budget hotel, pick- up and drop- off points with facilities like digital display boards, path- finder signages and a public address system.

Big deal, one may say, thinking this to be yet another new swanky airport terminal like New Delhi's T3. But, this is an m dmi state transport bus depot in Gujarat that seems more like an airport to the visitors and commuters alike.

Built under a public- private partnership between the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation ( GSRTC) and realty firm Cube Construction, the five- storey terminus in Vadodara city is spread over 2.4 lakh square feet with a built- up area that is 1.8 times more than this. A special purpose vehicle, Spherecube Infra, is implementing the `114 crore project.

Called the Ved Transcube Plaza, it has the Vadodara Central Bus Terminal as well as a commercial complex. " Right now, the terminus already handles over 800 buses and as many as 28,000 to 35,000 passengers daily," GSRTC chief civil engineer H. J. Parmar told M AIL T ODAY . He says two storeys of the building are completely operational while finishing touches are being given to the third floor. "The entire terminal will be fully operational within six to eight months," Parmar added.

The commercial complex at the terminus, once ready, is likely to attract 20,000 visitors daily.

Asked about the maintenance and cleanliness at the bus depot, which like any other state transport station would have passengers from all classes of society, Parmar said Cube Construction has been given a 31- year contract for the purpose.

The company could generate its revenue by selling, renting and leasing out commercial space in the shopping mall as well as from advertisements there, though GSRTC would remain the owner of the terminal.

In all, the commercial complex expects to have 400 retail shops of an average 250 to 350 square feet each, a flea market, a food court with 22 outlets, a seven- screen multiplex run by Cinepolis India and a 100- room budget hotel. The Spherecube Infra is negotiating with several hotel operators for management contracts.

The Gujarat government plans to develop six such terminals in the state. Construction work on two of them in Ahmedabad and Mehsana city in north Gujarat is going on at a fast pace, sources said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 27, 2014
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