Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 25:
The Odisha Government has finally woken up to the realities of the Baramunda bus stand in the capital city and has decided to spend Rs 200 crores to convert it to a model bus stand.
Given the deadlock in PPP mode and after the High Court scrapped its MOU with ARSS in December 2012, the government has decided to do the renovation and redesign and other works of the bus stand on its own.
Senior executives of the government will soon visit the bus stand to inspect its condition and the space available, following which they will prepare a Detailed Project report (DPR). The construction will begin in this financial year (2015-16) itself, as per information provided by Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi.
It may be noted that the government had signed a MoU with ARSS in August 2010 as part of its plan to renovate and improvise the facilities of Baramunda bus stand in PPP mode.
As per the conditions agreed upon, ARSS was supposed to build the Bus Terminal and Commercial Complex on 14.03 acres of land, 60% of which was supposed to be dedicated for the bus stand and rest for the complex. ARSS was supposed to maintain the terminal for 15 years and the complex for 90 years, for which it was supposed to collect the entry fee, parking fee and other user fees.
Even though the Chief Minister laid foundation for the proposed bus stand in April 2011, the shop owners of the bus stand challenged the MoU in the High Court which in turn scrapped it in December 2012.
Renovation and construction work at the bus terminal has come to a halt since then, causing huge inconvenience to thousands of commuters who use it on a daily basis.
The government is also considering an ultra modern bus stand in Gopalpur on the outskirts of Cuttack and converting the existing Badambadi bus stand into the city bus stand. The work will begin in the next financial year (2016-17) on this project, sources said.