Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 20:
Public transport system will soon be introduced in four more cities in Odisha with a total of 130 buses pressed into service for the convenience of the commuters in these cities.
As per Urban Development department sources, city bus service will be launched in Cuttack, Rourkela, Bolangir and Koraput by the end of this year. The department is on the verge of finalising the formalities for the launch.
The department has planned to introduce as many as 50 buses in Cuttack, 30 each in Rourkela and Bolangir and 20 in Koraput. The tender process for procurement of buses in the next two months has already been completed, sources in the department said.
The bus service would be operated in PPP mode on the lines of Bhubaneswar which is managed by a private company Dream Team Sahara (DTS).
“A special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be floated for this purpose and private parties would be selected through tender process,” Urban Development Special Secretary Sisir Rath said.
Notably, 30 city buses are plying on the roads of Sambalpur and Brahmapur. While buses are being run on PPP mode in Sambalpur, Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) is managing the services as no private party has come forward to run the services. Besides, six buses are being introduced in Rourkela on an experimental basis, which is also managed by OSRTC.
125 city buses have been introduced in Bhubaneswar and Puri under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). However, the services were later extended to Cuttack, Khurda and Janla as per directive of High Court, despite not satisfying the criteria.
A company named ‘Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Service Ltd’ was formed and it signed a MoU with a private entity Dream Team Sahara (DTS) to manage the services in these cities. After getting overwhelming response from the commuters, the state government purchased 80 more buses from its own resources and introduced on these routes. Of these, as many as 12 buses are air-conditioned and ply on specific routes.