Report by Suchismita Sahoo; Bhubaneswar: The state government decided to run city bus services in Rourkela, Rajgangpur, Biramitrapur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Bolangir- Patnagarh and Jeypore, Koraput, Sunabeda. This was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship CM Naveen Patnaik.
These five new urban transport clusters will facilitate procurement of 309 buses to provide city bus services in the routes already finalised. The development of these clusters is expected to be completed in three months time and city bus services are likely to start from January 2014.
The city bus services will replicate Bhubaneswar model. The discussions in the meeting revealed that 100 buses will ply in 10 routes of Cuttack- Choudwar, 80 buses in nine routes of Rourkela- Rajgangpur- Biramitrapur, 54 buses in 10 routes of Balasore- Bhadrak, 40 buses in seven routes of Jeypore- Koraput- Sunabeda and 35 buses in five routes of Bolangir- Patnagarh.
An estimate of Rs 157.41 crore has been envisaged for the project of city bus services and development of infrastructure. While the Central government will provide financial assistance of Rs 71.07 crore, capital expenditure will be borne by the State government. Since the project has been planned to be implemented through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, operational expenses will be borne by the city bus operators.
As the city bus service will be launched in the steel city of Rourkela, Rourkela Steel Plant authorities have agreed to be an equity partner for the project.
Among others, Housing & Urban Development Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, School & Mass Education Minister Rabi Narayan Nanda, Development CommissionerInjeti Srinivas, Additional Chief Secretary Finance UN Behera and other senior officials attended the meeting.