Sharmili Mallick

The private bus owners' association has decided to put its decision to suspend bus services on Cuttack-Sambalpur route on National Highway No-55 on hold. The agitation was scheduled to begin from January 1, 2022,

The decision was taken following a high-level meeting between the State Transport Department, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the association at Kharabela Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday evening.

Protesting the dilapidated condition of NH-55 in the stretch between Manguli in Cuttack to Sambalpur, the association had suspended bus services on the route for 18 hours from 6 am to 12 midnight on December 23 .

The association alleged that due to the bad road condition in the route from Cuttack via Angul to Sambalpur, their vehicles get damaged and it forces them to shell out a huge sum towards maintenance on regular basis.

The private bus owners association had further threatened to boycott NH-55 from January 1 if their demands are not fulfilled at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the NHAI and transport department have assured the association that the repair work of the NH will be completed by January 20 next year while the construction work will be completed by June 2022.

“The NHAI authorities assured us that the repair work from Angul to Manguli will be completed by January 20 and the construction work by June 2022 so that buses and trucks can smoothly ply on the route. Therefore, we have kept the agitation scheduled to begin from January 1 on hold and the bus shall continue to ply normally on the route,’” informed Debendra Sahu, Secretary of the private bus owners' association.