Berhampur, November 26 (LocalWire): With over 400 private passenger buses off the road, hundreds of commuters are facing lot of difficulty since early morning on Tuesday.
The Ganjam district Private Bus Owners’ Association has decided not to ply their buses to protest against the district administration’s decision to compel them to operate their buses from Berhampur Bus-stand at Haladiapadara, instead of City Bus-stand here.
The decision was taken by the Berhampur Development Authority (BeDA) to enable the building of a new facility costing Rs 97 lakh at the City Bus Stand.
According to sources, BeDA has decided to close the City Bus-stand for the next two months for the renovation of the existing bus shelter and has asked all bus operators to use the Haladiapadara facility, about 12-km from the city.
Private bus owners association, however, have been opposing the relocation and re-routing of the busses.
In a meeting held with the district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange, they requested to open one gate for their operation and close the other gate for renovation.
They also requested to provide an open space near Biju Patnaik Park to operate the buses.
The district administration has, however, refused both their suggestions and is firm to relocate them to the Haladiapadara terminal.
The association stated that the new bus-terminal at Haladiapadara is around 12 km away from the city and the bus operators would have to bear the extra cost to cover that distance.
They also pointed out that the location of the bus-stand was not suitable as it was situated on the side of the National Highway.
There is a high probability of accidents when the vehicles enter directly to the NH, the private operators stated.
Meanwhile, the BeDA has stared the renovation work in the city bus-stand with the deployment of heavy police forces.
“As many as 40 city buses are operating now. Besides the buses belong to the state owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) is also operating. If necessary, some buses will be hired for the convenience of the passengers,” BeDA vice chairman Chakravarti Singh Rathore said.
Due to the opposition of private bus owners, the new bus terminal at Haladiapadara was not functioning for the last three years, after its inauguration and the BeDA started its operation from 2 October.
In the first phase, all buses belonging to the state-owned OSRTC and other state government buses have been asked to ply from the new bus-stand at Haladiapadara.