With increased demand for public transport in urban centres, the State Government has decided to develop transport clusters at five locations.
The new clusters will meet the transport needs of Cuttack-Choudwar, Rourkela-Rajgangpur-Birmitrapur, Balasore-Bhadrak, Balangir-Patnagarh and Jeypore-Koraput-Sunabeda clusters.
This was decided at the first steering committee meeting on urban transport here on Wednesday.
The meeting presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik decided to develop infrastructure for proposed transport clusters and procure 309 new buses. The project is estimated to cost ` 157.41 crore of which Centre’s share will be ` 71 crore.
Official sources said a special purpose vehicle (SPV) has been constituted for each cluster for development of infrastructure and construction of bus terminal.
An automatic fare revision formula will be developed to ensure that passenger fares go up and come down as per the costs without political interference, the sources said.
As per the decision taken at the meeting, 100 buses will ply on 10 routes of Cuttack-Choudwar cluster, 80 on nine routes of Rourkela-Rajgangpur-Birmitrapur, 54 on 10 routes of Balasore-Bhadrak, 40 on seven routes of Jeypore-Koraput-Sunabeda and 35 on five routes of Balangir-Patnagarh cluster.
The State launched city bus service under rapid transit system in October, 2010. The Centre had sanctioned 125 buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM).
The Government had 55 standard buses and 70 mini-buses with the financial assistance provided by Ministry of Urban Development.
The Government has sent proposal to the Centre for implementing the rapid transport system in other areas of the State under JnNURM in the second phase. Plans are afoot to bring changes in the urban transport system, the sources said.The State Government has also taken measures to improve the public transport system in Berhampur, Western Odisha and the twin city of Cuttak and Bhubaneswar.
The Government has recently approved the proposal of the Urban Development Department for development of Bhubaneswar region transport corridor.
Urban Development Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, School and Mass Education Minister Rabi Narayan Nanda, Development Commissioner I Srinivas, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) UN Behera and several other senior officers were present.