Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 23:
The much awaited Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) s not coming to the Odisha capital. The proposal sent by the State Government to the Union Government for sanction under the now shelved Jawaharlal Nnehru National Urbal Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has been returned back putting the future of this project in uncertainty.
As an alternative, the state government is now considering deploying 500 more city buses in Bhubaneswar to address the public transport challenge.
BDA Vice Chairman Krishan Kumar has been asked to do a study to assess the feasibility of operating 500 city buses and its operational requirements such as the expected expense, routes, time gap between two departures, the effect on traffic situation etc. The report will also compare this project with the earlier planned BRTS system.
“We were supposed to receive funds under JNNURM scheme for the BRTS. However, as this scheme was scrapped, all the plans under this scheme had to be scrapped too. We are considering alternatives to facilitate hassle-free public transport for denizens of Bhubaneswar,” said Special Secretary of Urban Development Ministry SK Rath.
A meeting was held yesterday between the Development Commissioners, Secretary of Urban Development Ministry, Transport Secretary, Special Secretary of Urban Development Department and BDA Vice Chairman to work out a strategy on the future mode of public transport in the capital city.
“Even though JNNURM scheme has been scrapped, we are anyway going to get money under AMRUT and Smart City schemes. We can afford these new bus services. Also, this may be more profitable given the success of DTS town bus service,” said another senior official of Urban Development Ministry.
It may be noted that the State Government had earlier proposed to start the high-speed bus service called BRTS by 2018 at a cost of Rs 460 crores for hassle-free and fast conveyance within Bhubaneswar. This system was aimed at eliminating chances of traffic jam and unnecessary delays.
Initially, two routes had been finalized for the operations, the first being Airport to Nandankanan and the second Kalpana square to Mancheswar.