The bus depot outside Belapur railway station is crumbling and dilapidated for years.

The depot is next to the under-construction Belapur Metro station, which is the starting point of the Navi Mumbai Metro line.

Once the Metro line starts, the bus depot is likely to be the busiest bus depot in the satellite city. The local residents of Belapur said if requisite measures are not taken before the inauguration of the Metro line, it may lead to massive congestion in the area.

More than 500 NMMT, BEST and KDMT buses travel to different places of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad from the depot.

Manish Shinde, 38, an activist from Belapur, said, “The bus stops do not serve any purpose during heavy rain. Passengers have to wait holding umbrellas.”

Passengers have complained about seating arrangements.

“There are only six metal benches at the depot. But, the number of passengers travelling from here is more than 20,000 a day. The existing benches are not in good condition. The authorities concerned should take these issues into consideration and do the needful as early as possible,” he said.

Devika Pandey, 41, a resident of Belapur, said, “The biggest problem for women passengers is that there is no washroom at the depot. We use the washrooms at the railway station while waiting for bus. The number of passengers will increase manifold after Metro starts and then it will become a major issue. The authorities should build at least two washrooms at the depot.”

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) is likely to complete the first Metro line in August next year.

Shirish Aradwad, general manager of Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport, said, “We are aware of the issues at the depot. But the depot land belongs to Cidco. We are just running our buses from there for the convenience of commuters. We cannot upgrade the depot. Only Cidco can take measures to do so.”

According to an estimate, around 25,000 commuters will travel to Belapur from Taloja and Kharghar once it is inaugurated. Many of these commuters will come to the bus depot to board bus and travel to other places.

“Hawkers are another issue. Vegetable sellers have occupied both sides of the depot and do business till late evening. All of them should be evicted to free up space,” said Subhash Patil, 56, an activist.

A senior Cidco official said, “We have taken the matter into consideration. We will take the final decision soon and renovate the bus depot before the Metro line is inaugurated.”

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