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Bus depot’s terminal illness

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 14: Promises are being kept only to be broken, again and again.

A modern bus terminal near Pokhariput is yet to be completed though work on it began two years ago.

Though the state housing and urban development department has directed the authorities of Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Services Ltd (BPTSL), which runs the city bus service, and the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) to complete the terminal and make it functional from January 1, this has not been done.

The housing department had directed the authorities of BDA to provide all basic infrastructures needed for the terminal by December 31 last year and to complete the remaining work by March 31. But the officials of Dream Team Sahara (DTS), the private operator of the city bus service, did not seem to be interested in moving to the new terminal as work on it is yet to be completed.

“Though the authorities have completed the construction of a washing ramp, they are yet to make a room which will contain a motor pump. We also need sheds for our crewmembers. As long as these facilities are not provided, we will not be able to operate from the terminal,” said chief executive officer of DTS Sudhanshu Jena.

The terminal has so far missed several deadlines. The municipal authorities had even printed and distributed cards announcing the terminal’s inauguration on Local Self-Government Day in 2011. Since then a number of deadlines have been missed.

The delay has also led to repeated reminders from the chief secretary and housing department secretary.

The exclusive depot-cum-bus terminal at Pokhariput will be set up on an area of around 4.5 acres and can accommodate more than 100 buses.

At present, DTS runs 114 buses for Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Khurda. But the present depot at Master Canteen Square is the only place used to park the buses. The terminal lacks facilities such as drinking water, toilet and washing ramps to clean the buses.

Sisir Kumar Ratho, special secretary of the housing department, said he would discuss the matter with the officials of BPTSL. “It was the decision of the government to make the terminal functional from January 1 and the BPTSL must obey the government’s order,” said Ratho.

Apart from the Pokhariput terminal, the city bus service also lacks origin-destination terminals.

Of the 22 origin-destination terminals, the government had announced it would build only 12.

But, not a single such terminal has been made operational till date.