Much awaited city bus service for Berhampur and urban centres around it, is expected to start in next few days.
Speaking to The Hindu, Ganjam district Collector Prem Chandra Choudhary, who also happens to be the chairman of the Ganjam Urban Transport Services Limited (GUTSL) formed for the purpose, said at present the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC), would operate this city bus service. The OSRTC would run this city bus service as per the route and halts finalised by the Ganjam Urban Transport Services Limited (GUTSL). Although the date of inauguration of this city bus service has not been finalized, yet it was expected to start within a week.
The GUTSL has already come up with an agreement with the OSRTC for the running of this city bus service. This agreement is for one year.
It may be noted that State government decided to hand over operation of this city bus service to the OSRTC for the time being as no private party came up to take up the responsibility. Although 20 new buses had reached Berhampur city in last week of December 2013, the project could not be started as no operator had shown interest to take charge of this public transport service.
The city bus project for Berhampur was to be taken up under Private Public Participation (PPP) mode. Initially it was thought that city bus project would get started from September 2013.
But it could not happen as the tender floated in June 2013 could not attract a single operator to take up the project. So, a second tender was floated, whose last date was Dec 27, 2013.
Administration has already earmarked 17 acres of land near Haldiapadar on the outskirts of the city for establishment of the central depot for the proposed city bus service for greater Berhampur.