Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jan 17:
The state government has decided to ply 100 buses in 19 left wing extremism (LWE) affected districts of the state, Commerce and Transport minister Subrat Tarai announced here on Friday.
“An amount of Rs 21 crore has already been sanctioned for the project, which has been entrusted to Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC),” he said speaking on the concluding day of the 25th National Road Safety Week-2014 here.
“There are some areas in the state which have roads, but no transport bus services. After a meeting with the departmental officials chaired by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, we have decided to ply 100 buses in the Naxal affected districts,” Tarai said.
This apart, the government has launched, for the first time, a Rural Road Transport Connectivity scheme covering 118 scheduled blocks in 12 districts to facilitate road communication services in the remote, inaccessible areas. Each block will be provided with 10 buses, each with 10 to 26 seats, through this scheme, said the transport Minister. Light vehicles and city ride buses are also included in this scheme, he said.
These projects will spur economic growth in the state, the minister hoped. Besides enhancing the public transport system, it will also provide employment opportunities to the people living in these rural areas. The government has decided to run 1000 buses on rural roads in the first phase, he said
“Bus services in rural areas will be implemented through public private partnership (PPP) mode. Private parties like unemployed youth, NGOs and block members would procure the buses on their own through tendering process with loans from the banks,” Tarai said.
The scheme provides for payment of 5 per cent cost of the bank loan availed by an entrepreneur by the state government. Besides, these buses will be free from paying road taxes and permit fees for five years, informed Tarai. This bus service is expected to start before end of April this year.
The minister further said the state government has planned to start four Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in the state soon. These RTO offices will be opened at Talcher in Angul, Jajpur town in Jajpur, Bhanjanagar in Ganjam and Patia in Khurda districts.