SAMBALPUR: Six months after the city bus services were flagged off in Sambalpur town, the authorities have failed to ensure smooth run of the buses in the absence of designated stops and route maps.
The Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited (WOUTSL) and Paschim Odisha Paribahan Company (POPCO) are jointly running the city bus services.
It was proposed to identify 42 locations in the town and adjacent areas where buses can halt. In the first phase, bus stops at 10 locations were planned. Those spots include Nelson Mandela Chowk, Jail Chowk, Church Chowk, Budharaja Temple Gate, Budharaja High School, Remed Chowk, Ainthapali Chowk besides one between Jharsuguda and Bargarh.
A few days after the services were started on January 29, Sambalpur Collector Balwant Singh had announced that Aditya Aluminium and Hindalco Industries Limited have been asked to build bus shelters and hoped that those would be completed in two months.
It was decided to install boards displaying the routes and timings of the buses at each shelter. But, there is no sign of the bus stop nor signboard till date.
The WOUTSL runs 21 city buses of 32 vehicles at its disposal. Currently, the buses are plying on Sambalpur-Maneswar, Sambalpur-Burla, Sambalpur-Jharsuguda, Sambalpur-Hirakud and Sambalpur-Chiplima routes besides the inter-district services from Sambalpur to Bargarh.
There is also a proposal to extend the bus services to five more routes of Sambalpur-Dhama, Sambalpur-Laida, Sambalpur-Balbaspur, Sambalpur-Ghanteswari and Sambalpur-Padiabahal shortly.
Chief Executive Officer of WOUTSL Aniruddha Padhan said the companies that had been assigned to construct bus stops have been asked to redesign the plans as those already provided by them have been rejected.