Agitation by Bhanjangar Private Bus Owners’ Association (GPBOA) on Thursday forced the administration to make arrangement for repair of the Aska-Bhanjanagar road in Ganjam district on a war-footing.

The GPBOA stopped plying its buses from Thursday morning to protest against the bad condition of the Aska-Bhanjanagar road. The 40-km stretch of road was part of the State highway. Yet its condition was worse than rural roads, alleged the bus owners. They said the construction company that took up work of renovation of the road had delayed the work of the project which was worth around Rs. 75 crore.

Owing to the agitation by the GPBOA, no private buses travelled between Aska and Bhanjanagar. Apart from it, the GPBOA also stopped plying buses from Bhanjanagar to any other place. It affected the passenger traffic badly as Bhanjanagar happens to be a major urban centre of Ganjam district and also a sub-divisional headquarters.

The private bus owners also staged a demonstration at Bhanjanagar. To end the impasse, Bhanjanagar Sub-Collector Sudhansu Mohan Samal called up a meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting was attended by Bhanjanagar, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), officials of Road and Buildings (R&B) Department, representatives of the construction company concerned as well as members of the GPBOA.

Directive to firm

At the meeting, the Sub-Collector ordered the construction company to take immediate measures to repair the 40-km stretch of the road before the onset of monsoon. It was directed that all pot holes on the road had to be filled up by June 15. It was also directed to speed up the renovation work. Following the assurance, the GPBOA members decided to defer their agitation. Bus services resumed on the Aska-Bhanjanagar road as well as to other places from Bhanjanagar from evening. The GPBOA members said they may resort to agitation again if the promise was not fulfilled within the time frame.

According to leaders of the GPBOA, it has become dangerous for buses to run on the Aska-Bhanjanagar stretch of road. It has been damaging the vehicles as well as leading to several accidents.