City bus kiosk push at airport

Govt asks for space

By Our correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 14.10.17
  •  
A city bus information counter near the railway stattion at Master Canteen Square in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 13: Booking a city bus ticket from the international airport here will become a lot easier if the housing and urban development department's plan to set up a booking-cum-information counter for the service bears fruit.

Housing and urban development department principal secretary G. Mathi Vathanan yesterday wrote to the airport authorities to provide a space inside the terminal complex to set up the counter.

In a letter to airport director Subash Chandra Hota, Vathanan requested a 5sqm space to open the counter.

At present, city bus services are not available on the stretch that connects the city with the Biju Patnaik International Airport. Taking advantage of this, private cab operators and auto-rickshaw drivers have monopolised their business. "We have to pay at least Rs 200 to reach to even a nearby destination from the airport to avail the bus service," said Unit-VI resident Bikash Meheta, a frequent flyer.

An airport official said they had received the government request and would allot a suitable space inside the complex for the booking counter. "We will meet our officials and find a suitable space," said the official.

Sources said the government was planning to roll down two city buses to and from the airport to overcome the passengers' problem. The buses will run between the railway station and Baramunda bus terminal from the airport. Besides, the civic body has also got land near Terminal 2 to develop a bus shelter.

The Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Services Limited (BPTSL) will introduce the service for citizens. "We have come up with a city bus modernisation plan where we will introduce new buses and routes, develop the terminal and bus stop. We have decided to introduce the service at the airport in line with the plan," said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, who is also chairman of BPTSL.

"It is a good move to introduce the service at the airport. It will help a lot of people reach destinations across the city on the cheap," said Unit-IV resident Minakshi Hota. The airport recently opened a pre-booking counter for taxi aggregators.