Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In a bid to establish a seamless public transport network from the Gram Panchayat (GP) level to the State capital, the Odisha government launched the much-hyped bus service under the ‘Location Accessible Multi-modal Initiative’ (LAccMI). After its launch in Malkangiri in the first phase, the service was subsequently extended to Koraput, Gajapati, and Rayagada districts. However, bus services under the scheme in many remote areas of the State have proved to be much ado about nothing. Several passengers have expressed their resentment over the poor implementation of the scheme.

Take the case of Narayanpatna in Koraput. As only one bus is running in the block under the scheme, there is a huge rush creating trouble mostly for elderly persons and children.

“As only one bus is running in our area, the vehicle has been witnessing a huge rush and we are facing a lot of trouble during our journey. We also have to wait for long hours for the bus,” rued Purnima Bidika, a student.

“We are happy that a bus under the LAccMI scheme is running in our block. However, one bus for such a huge area is not enough. We are facing a lot of trouble due to the huge rush,” said Padmabati Nachika, a passenger.

The situation is a bit different in the Borigumma and Kotpad areas in the Koraput district. Though many buses under the LAccMI scheme are running, hardly any passengers are using them. As per sources, the government buses are not making halts at several places after being allegedly threatened by private bus owners.

“Buses running under the LAccMI scheme are not providing regular services. Moreover, they are not halting at many stoppages. As a result, people are forced to be dependent on private buses,” said a resident of Kelaguda.

Though as many as 44 buses under the LAccMI scheme have been running in the Nabarangpur district for the last one month, many passengers are not getting any kind of help from the service. As per their allegations, the buses are only running on the main road and not connecting many villages, and as a result, they are deprived of availing the service.

“Bus service under the LAccMI scheme was launched for the convenience of the transportation of rural people. However, the government buses are not touching many villages and not halting at regular stoppages. As a result, several people in many villages are not able to avail the service,” said Dibakar Pujari, a passenger.

As per reports, the bus covering the route from Hirli to Badamisigam is not connecting as many as six villages of Agnipur Panchayat.

Meanwhile, responding to the allegations Nabarangpur RTO, Jitendra Kumar Bhoi assured that he would look into the matter.

“We will request the Block Development Officer to find out the problems of the passengers. Our enforcement squad will check the routes of the buses every week,” said Bhoi.

The implementation of the LAccMI scheme in Malkangiri is also not that encouraging.

Neither the buses are running on a regular basis or on time in the Chitrakonda area. The situation is forcing people to commute in private buses and other vehicles by paying higher fares.

“There is no fixed timing of government buses. They are also not running on a regular basis. As a result, we are facing a lot of problems. We are also wasting our valuable time by waiting for long hours,” said Dilip Machha, a passenger.

Malkangiri RTO, Manas Mishra said, “The government is not bothered about loss or profit. The scheme is not meant to make any revenue for the government. It has been implemented to provide transportation facilities to the people.”

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