BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government has put the onus on Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for improvement of transport infrastructure in their respective jurisdiction. The municipal bodies have been asked to pitch in with financial resources and the ones which contribute more would get a better deal from the Government.
The need for basic transport infrastructure has become stronger to meet the growing need of public transport system as city bus service is being planned as well as introduced in smaller cities and towns of the State. As a result, the Housing and Urban Development Department has been receiving proposals to develop bus terminals and related infrastructure.
To streamline the process, Housing and Urban Development Department has prepared a set of guidelines which stipulates that a ULB has to bear at least 20 per cent of the total project cost for consideration of the State Government assistance. Even if the funding is arranged through CSR, it would be considered ULB contribution and priority would be accorded accordingly.
However, the first priority among ULBs would be given to those where city bus service is already operational and the ones which are ready to pitch in with more than 20 per cent of the project cost.
The municipal bodies where no bus terminal is available under the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) or the ULB would get the second priority.
The Department has made it amply clear that the bus terminal projects should have provision for bare minimum passengers and bus-related facilities and no proposal for establishment of commercial complexes would be entertained. Such amenities would have to be created by the ULBs on their own cost later.
The project estimates would have to be prepared either by the Roads and Buildings Division or the Municipal Engineer. The ULBs are required to pass a resolution to the effect of bearing 20 per cent cost and submit the same.
The Government has also put riders to ensure that the funds are utilised within three years and no cost escalation is reported. For this purpose, it would release 40 per cent of the cost after administrative approval for the project is received and ULB’s share is deposited. The rest would be released only after utilisation certificates are submitted. After completion of the third year of the first sanction order, no funds would be given to the ULBs by the Government.