Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 31:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today flagged off 30 more buses to four left wing extremism (LWE) affected districts in Odisha under the Biju Gaon Gadi Yojana (BGGY).
The service was flagged off at a function held at the head office of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) here.
“Buses will start plying under Biju Gaon Gadi Yojana from today. These buses will run in the remote areas of Nuapada, Deogarh, Sundargarh and Gajapati. This will be very helpful to people in these areas to avail better communication,” Naveen Patnaik said.
In the third phase of the yojna, as many as 30 buses were launched on 28 routes in Maoist-infested districts of Sundargarh, Deogarh, Nuapada and Gajapati.
“These buses have been launched especially in Maoist-infested districts under the Biju Gaon Gadi Yojana for which the state government has earmarked Rs 21 crore. The routes are not commercially viable as a result of which OSRTC has incurred losses to the tune of over Rs 1 crore and private operates are not keen to ply buses in these routes. The government has launched the service to provide better transportation service in Maoist-affected districts,” OSRTC CMD, Sanjiv Marik said.
“We have launched the service to provide better road connectivity in remote tribal areas. The buses will ply on Maosit-affected areas. The remaining 13 would be procured during 2015-16 fiscal and launched in subsequent phases,” Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi said.
Notably, the state government had launched 57 buses earlier and the number increased to 87 with addition of 30 more buses today.
The bus service under Biju Gaon Gadi Yojana is aimed at providing transport facility to remote areas in tribal and backward areas of the state.
As per sources, the government had decided to launch 33 buses on these identified routes today. However, 30 buses were introduced for the time being as it hasn’t procured the targeted numbers. The rest three buses would be added to the fleet soon after procurement.
Earlier, 40-seater buses have been introduced in Rayagada, Jeypore, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Kandhamal, Brahmapur, Koraput, Ganjam and Kandhamal districts under the scheme.