Mrunal Manmay Dash

The recently-inaugurated Cuttack Netaji Bus Terminal (CNBT) was touted to make life easier for the passengers and the buses that arrive in Cuttack every day in thousands of numbers. But as it turned out, the passengers are reportedly facing a hard time going inside the terminal.

As per reports, though the terminal has three gates including one at the Raja Bagicha side, the passengers are forced to enter the terminal from the Khannagar side along the ring road.

Passengers alleged, by doing so, they have to walk more than 500 metres, making life difficult for them, particularly the senior citizens.

“I have come from Marshaghai. The security guard deployed here denied me entry from there. He told me to enter from another gate. I can’t find it now,” said an old man.

“I wanted to send a packet to Angul by a bus. But I was forced to go around the terminal and enter the bus stand from the gate near Khannagar. I do not understand why the government is making our lives miserable,” rued another local of Cuttack.

Even the Cuttack Private Bus Owners Association is of the same opinion. Speaking about the ordeal, its vice-president Kishore Biswal said, “The main entry to Cuttack is from the Raja Bagicha side. But the authorities have made only one gate available for the passengers to enter the terminal at the river side. We have requested the CMC many times to provide passengers another gate on the Raja Bagicha side.”

Asked about the issue, CMC Mayor Subash Singh said, “People with emergency medical case or divyangs can enter through the Raja Bagicha gate. The entry gates are divided between passengers, private buses and government buses for security purposes. Everybody is checked while entering the terminal. The bus terminal is made for the ease of people. If they are facing problem, then we will definitely address the issue.”

The CNBT was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on September 16, 2023.

The 17-acre facility, built at an estimated cost of Rs 90.20 crore, can accommodate 190 buses at a time. The foundation stone for CNBT was laid by the CM on January 23, 2021, on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who was born in Cuttack and spent his early childhood here.