Odisha: Man on hunger strike demanding basic amenities at bus stand
“Passengers do not even get drinking water at the bus stand,” he said. The State government, in 2018, had sanctioned Rs 5 lakh under ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikas’ scheme for development of the facility.
BARIPADA: In what can be an example of an individual taking up the cudgels for rights of a larger mass, Khirod Chandra Das of Jharpokharia in Mayurbhanj district is on a hunger strike demanding amenities at the bus stand at Bombay Chowk.
Khirod, who started his agitation on Friday, said in the absence of amenities like drinking water, public toilets, waiting hall and lights, passengers face a lot of inconvenience at the bus stand, from where buses ply daily to Jharkhand and West Bengal.
“Passengers do not even get drinking water at the bus stand,” he said.
The State government, in 2018, had sanctioned Rs 5 lakh under ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikas’ scheme for development of the facility.
While Rs 3 lakh was sanctioned for construction of a waiting hall, Rs 2 lakh got earmarked for a public toilet at the bus stand.
But owing to alleged apathy of district administration officials, the projects have not moved an inch. Khirod had to be administered saline on Saturday but his determination has not waned a bit.
“I along with a few other locals have been demanding renovation of the bus stand for the last six years. A memorandum in this regard was also given to the Collector of Mayurbhanj through the BDO but in vain,” he said.
On Friday, Rajya Sabha member Mamata Mohanta met Khirod and gave him a patient hearing. She later took up the matter with tehsildar Satyaban Naik and BDO Sangram Keshari Bhol over telephone.
Bhol said renovation of the bus stand has been delayed as it comes under the jurisdiction of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
He said NHAI has been asked to provide land for construction of facilities at the bus stand and once it is done, the work on renovation of the facility would start.
Jharapokharia is a small town located on junction of NH-6 and NH-16. It is 30 km from Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj district.