Bhubaneswar, August 20 (LocalWire): A whopping Rs 52 crores spent by the state to streamline the public transport system here has apparently gone down the drain with majority of the procured luxury buses gathering dust at the government depot, according to RTI query expose.
The state government had constituted BPTCL (Bhubaneswar Puri Transport Corporation Limited) in 2010 to provide hassle-free town bus transport service to daily commuters.
As many as 185 luxury high-tech buses were procured for the purpose in phases from 2010 to 2014.
The stakeholders of BPTCL included the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Orissa State Road Transport Corporation, Puri-Konark Development Authority and the Puri Municipality.
The town bus service was flagged off amid fanfare in October, 2010.
These buses were procured from the Central grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission initiative.
However, down the years, the service has gone haywire with almost all the buses lying non-operational, said Pradip Pradhan, a RTI activist representing the Odisha Soochana AdhikarAbhijan (OSAA).
The government had signed an agreement with Dream Team Sahara, a private body for effective management of town bus service in Bhubaneswar and other cities, he said.
Currently, the BPTCL has turned defunct by struggling to earn Rs 8.65 crore revenue with only five buses plying, Pradhan said, quoting the contents of the RTI reply by the government.
Gross mismanagement coupled with PPT partnership with a private body has proved disastrous for the public transport initiative.
Despite several attempts, the stakeholders including the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation refused to comment on the state of affairs of BPTCL.