Himansu Shekhar Rout

Seven years have passed since the construction of a high-tech bus terminal in Jeypore town of Koraput district was taken up, but the ambitious project seems to be nowhere near completion amid reports of commuters and bus operators routinely facing hardship.

As per reports, Rs 11 crore was sanctioned for the project which was proposed to come up over six acres of land. The construction work started in 2017 while a deadline was set to complete it in 2019. However, construction work was limited to three acres. Later, the district administration found the construction faulty and changed its design. New structures that had been built were demolished.  

The delay of the project has left the people of Jeypore quite upset. They alleged that scores of shops and stalls have hemmed in the present bus stand lacking all necessary facilities for commuters. 
Locals are allegedly baffled to think why newly built structures are being demolished – be it the newly built shops and a boundary wall on the grounds of faulty DPR and construction. 

What has made them more surprised is that efforts are on to inaugurate the bus terminal while its work is still incomplete.
Upset over the delay, Rajendra Goud, a resident of Jeypore, lamented, “The bus terminal project could not be realised seven years after its construction. A DPR was prepared for six acres, but construction started on three acres.”   

Manguli Behera, Executive officer of the Odisha State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation, said that the original bus stand had been built as per plan and estimate. “The project plan is given by OSTRC while the Odisha State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation is only executing the project. In seven or eight days, the works will be completed.” 

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On the other hand, politics has started over the delay of the project. BJP leader Sudhansu Jena said, “The project is only a cash cow for some engineers and vested interests while people and bus operators are suffering. New structures have been demolished and why this has been done.”

Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “Nothing has been done for passengers and buses. All that one can see is stalls. Structures are demolished and rebuilt. The government has made a plan to earn hugely by selling the stalls.” 

However, BJD Rabirnayan Nanda, said, “Leaders do not make designs. Engineers had made the design and later it was realised that the design needed to be modified. Following the Collector's recommendation, the design has been changed.”

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