The Telegraph
Saturday , November 24 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gear shift for temporary bus hub
Khandagiri facility to be ready in 6 months

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 23: The state transport department has decided to step up work on infrastructure development at the upcoming Khandagiri bus terminal.

The terminal, which is expected to become functional in another six months, will be a temporary arrangement to facilitate the modernisation of the existing bus terminus at Baramunda.

During a meeting of City Management Group, which comprises officials of various government agencies, here last week, it was decided to expedite the process of infrastructure development of the temporary terminal.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been entrusted with construction of a traffic post at Tarini Temple Square. The highways authority will also widen the road from Tarini Temple Square in Khandagiri to Baramunda.

Also, to pre-empt court stay on eviction of encroachments, the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has been advised to file a caveat petition before the high court.

The authorities of Central Electricity Supply Utility (Cesu) will raise the height of high-tension wire passing through the terminal. The Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police will also submit a proposal to the works department to construct a police outpost building.

The OSRTC will ensure the completion of work of land levelling, widening of two culverts at the entry and exit points and toilet facilities at the temporary terminal.

The transit terminal will have passenger sheds, toilet and drinking water facilities, streetlights and two offices one each for the private bus owners’ association and the OSRTC.

Though the construction work began last year, it has been moving at snail’s pace.

“We are hopeful that the transit terminal will start functioning in the next six months. As all stakeholders have been assigned jobs, we hope the work will be completed at the earliest,” said a senior official of the state transport department.

It is important for the transit bus terminal to start operation as the modernisation of the existing terminus at Baramunda cannot take off till then.

The state government, on March 16, 2011, had signed an agreement with a private company for modernisation of Baramunda bus terminal in public private partnership mode. The modernisation of the Baramunda facility is expected to cost Rs 230 crore.

Of the 14.3 acres available, 60 per cent (8.66 acre) would be used to modernise the existing terminal and the remaining 40 per cent (5.77 acres) would be converted into a commercial hub.

Though private bus owners had expressed their reluctance in the past to shift to the transit terminal citing lack of adequate space to accommodate all the buses plying through Baramunda, they are now ready to do so.

“We have no objection to shift to the new terminal provided the authorities arrange for basic amenities such as shed, drinking water, toilet and safety for the passengers,” said general secretary of All-Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association Debendra Sahu.

While the transit bus terminal is being set up on 2.9 acres, Baramunda bus terminus has 14.3 acres.