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Bus bay work gains pace

- Signposts showing route details to come up soon in capital

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 26: The state government has finally begun constructing bus bays across the city. Signposts have also been put up on two major bus routes.

While 21 bus bays will be constructed, signposts will also be erected on the Nandankanan-Airport and VSS Nagar-Dumuduma routes. At present, the city needs 55 bus bays, but since new bus routes are constantly being launched, authorities of the Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Service Limited (BPTSL) have decided to include only 21 in the first phase.

The absence of signposts have led the city’s commuters to face a lot of problems. In the absence of the signposts, teh commuters also get confused about the bus stops and their routes.

The bus service was launched in Bhubaneswar on October, 2010.

The Telegraph had carried a series of stories on the shortcoming of the city bus service and the last one, which appeared on December 16, showed how the various agencies involved in running the show have failed to deliver on time to make the service an efficient and commuter-friendly one.

BPTSL officials and sources in the housing and urban development department said the public works department (PWD) was constructing the bus bays where buses could drive in from the main road and pick up passengers.

“With road expansion work in progress in almost all parts of the city, the bus bays and erection of signs took more time and it affected the smooth running of city buses. However, the construction of the bus bays is progressing at a good pace and the signs are also being designed. The signs will be mounted on the designated posts immediately after approval,’’ said a senior official of Dream Team Sahara,the bus service operator.

Executive engineer of PWD division-III P.C. Nayak said: “At present, we are constructing six bus bays — three on the Nandankanan route, one near Jaydev Vihar, one near CRP Square and another on the road connecting DAV Public School, Unit-VIII and CRP Square.”

“We are sure that the work will be over before March, 2012, but the related difficulties such as shifting of utility services (electric and telephone poles) near the proposed structure is consuming a lot of time and delaying the work,’’ Nayak said.

On the other hand, the executive engineer of division I of PWD, Manoranjan Tripathy, said: “The stretch from Vani Vihar Square (near Utkal University) to Raj Mahal will have five bus bays. At present, we are constructing three near Idco Tower, Satya Nagar church and Master Canteen. Two others would be constructed once the road expansion project is over between Master Canteen and Raj Mahal Square.”

When asked about the delay in constructing the bus bays and going beyond the December 15 deadline, PWD officials not only blamed the delay in shifting of utility services but also on the preparations for the ensuing Indian Science Congress, which is apparently taking up a lot of their time.

The city bus operation service provider has begun erecting sign posts on two routes. There is a plan to have 65 such posts on the Airport-Nandankanan route and 48 on the VSS Nagar-Dumdumda route. Bhubaneswar will have a total of 362 sign posts.

“We will be able to have sign posts on all parts of the city once the road expansion work gets over. Since most of the roads are now being renovated, it is meaningless to have the signs on those stretches where there is the possibility of expansion. For this, we are in constant touch with the public works department officials,’’ said Dream Team Sahara chairman Nishikanta Mishra.