Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: With the state government granting temporary route permits to 90 more private buses to Puri, a total of 162 private buses would ply to the pilgrim city during Ratha Jatra scheduled to begin on July 6.

This was revealed at a joint meeting between the private bus owners of Cuttack and Puri bus owners’ associations here today.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Rabindra Mohanty, joint secretary of Puri Private Bus Owners’ Association, said the meeting discussed the smooth travel of passengers to Puri during the mega festival.

In addition to the 72 private buses that have been given regular permits, the State Transport Department has granted temporary route permits to an additional 90 buses. He said there would be 24-hour bus services to Puri during the festival, he said.

“These buses would ply a day before, on the day, and the day after the Ratha Jatra and Bahuda Yatra. Besides, this service would also be available on the Suna Besha of the deities,” Mohanty said, adding that the passengers would be charged normal bus fare for their visit to Puri during these days.

To provide emergency services to the passengers, including drinking water and ORS, the Association has decided to open a camp at Badambadi bus stand in Cuttack, another at Kalpana Square in Bhubaneswar, and the third at Puri bus stand, he said.

Apart from this, special arrangements have been made for the physically challenged passengers, he added.

Talking about special arrangements made for the passengers, he said a rest shed has been opened at the bus stand in Puri for the passengers. “To provide food at an affordable cost to the passengers, we have set up a camp where meals would be provided at Rs 10 each to the passengers by the Akshaya Patra Foundation," Mohanty said.