Passengers allege lack of basic amenities at the computerised ticket counter of Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) at old bus stand in Berhampur.
The old bus stand still serves for the OSRTC buses. It may be noted that Berhampur is major commercial centre of south Orissa and OSRTC happens to be a key transporter of passengers in south Orissa. The OSRTC has opened up computerised ticket counters in Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Bolangir, Jeypore and Cuttack. According to sources among these five the Berhampur ticket counter generates highest per day revenue for the OSRTC, which is around one lakh rupees.
This computerised ticket counter of OSRTC in the city functions from 8 am to 10 pm. The passengers, who stand in along queue in front of this counter, say OSRTC authorities should improve amenities of this counter which provides good revenue. They allege that most of the time, out of the two computers at the counter, only one remains operational. There is no proper shed in front of the counter due to which they have to suffer from nature's wrath. As a makeshift arrangement polythene sheets have been hung in front of the counter, which is not sufficient. They also want more amenities, like drinking water.
When contacted, Divisional Transport Manager (DTM) of OSRTC Amiya Kumar Mishra accepted the allegations. According to him three personnel have been posted at this counter, which remains open for almost fourteen hours. If one of them is absent it leads to problems. According to him they are unable to develop the ticket counter or add up amenities to it due to a tussle with the administration and police regarding continuation of OSRTC bus stand at the spot. Administration and police want the OSRTC bus stand shifted from the spot with the plea that it is causing traffic congestion in the heart of the city. A legal tussle also continues regarding the continuation of lease of the old bus stand area to the OSRTC. It was leased to the OSRTC around 50 years ago. The OSRTC authorities are not ready to operate from new bus stand as they feel it would be hard for them due to competition from private bus operators who operate from there.