The city bus service’s second anniversary was marked by a cesspool of losses and delays.
The progress chart of the last two years presents a grim picture. The State Capital that should boast of and set an example for the rest of the urban local bodies has not been able to complete the main bus terminal in the past two years.
The city is supposed to have around 55 bus bays. Fifty-four Original Destination Terminals (ODTs) would be across Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri.
Of the 55 bus bays, 21 have been completed but are still to be functional as they are not handed over to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) till date. Ironically, most of these completed bus bays are now used as parking places. Most of the land where ODTs are supposed to come up are plagued by encroachments.
However, the Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Services Limited (BPTSL) officials state that most of the ODTs are almost ready and will be operational soon. They have approached the State Government to clear the encroachments.
Also the construction of the main bus terminal at Pokhariput, executed by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, remains incomplete for the last two years.
Diesel price hike and poor occupancy rate of the buses have added to the woes and, therefore, there are no major celebrations to mark the second anniversary of DTS.
“We have written to the State Government for another hike in the ticket fare and we are hopeful to get a decision soon,” said DTS chairman Nishikant Mishra.
Due to these loses, DTS has also put on hold the launch of smart card and bus pass scheme, he added.
Surprisingly, BPTSL is planning to purchase more buses at a time when only 115 of the 125 DTS buses are plying.
BPTSL operations general manager Jagabandhu Sahoo said: “There was a delay in getting the buses registered and in receiving the permits. But now those formalities have been completed and the buses will be plying very soon.”
Asked if some of the new buses would be deployed in Cuttack, Sahoo said that
they were yet to decide on that.