After Bhubaneswar, Rourkela has been accorded the second Smart City tag in Odisha. But the Steel City is lagging way behind other smart cities in the country in terms of basic facilities like road communication.
Many people from outside the State and district have settled either permanently or temporarily in Rourkela for their livelihood. With prestigious institutions like NIT and BPUT, the city is also a reputed educational hub not only in the State but across the country. However, the road communication facilities still remains a major problem in the city.
Four years have passed since Rourkela was declared as a Smart City in the State. However, commuters are still facing a lot of difficulties sans city bus services. As most of them are heavily reliant on autos, the rising auto fares have pinched their pockets.
Locals allege that despite getting regular financial assistances from the Union government for the development of smart cities, the State government has not done much for Rourkela. The State administration has continually dilly-dallied the long standing demand of the city denizens for plying of city buses across the town.
“We have to depend upon auto rickshaws to reach our college every day. It’s a bit expensive. Plying of city buses in the town would have solved our problem to a great extent,” said Gayatri Sahu a student.
Meanwhile, the Smart City authorities have assured that city buses will run in the town very soon and steps in this direction are being taken.
“RTO of Rourkela has been asked to prepare a roadmap for the plying of city buses. A blue print is also being laid out for kick starting the services from Panposh square towards Birsa Munda square, Kacheri, Rourkela Government hospital, ASP office and other places,” said Rourkela Smart City CEO Dibyajyoti Parida.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)