City bus service in tatters in Koraput
Koraput: The city bus service that was launched to boost transportation facilities in the town have lost its purpose with as many as 15 buses out of 20 lying defunct since a long time.
The sensor technology-based buses were inaugurated in 2016 to address the transportation crunch with reasonable fares in the tribal district. However, they are standing idle and gathering dust at Jeypore for the past few months due to mechanical breakdown.
On the other hand, the company that had obtained the tender of the project has remained indifferent to the issue citing unavailability of the some parts of the vehicles.
“One could avail the city buses at reasonable rates but after it stopped plying we are facing lot of problems. The timing of other buses are not fixed which is one among the many problems,” said a commuter, Madhab Mali.
A driver of the city bus said “The electrical machineries of the buses are not available in the local markets and have to be bought from outside. At times, they are also not available outside.”
Sources said the Jeypore-Koraput-Sunabeda Urban Transport Trust was entrusted with the responsibility of managing the services and a private company was given the tender to operate the vehicles. However since its inauguration, the private operators had been opposing the vehicles for plying in certain routes of the district.
Naresh Padhi, President of Koraput Bus Owners’ Association alleged, “The buses were proposed to run in shorter routes. But the concerned authorities made the buses ply for long distances such as to Jeypore, Damanjodi, Kotpad out of competition with private bus operators due to which the vehicles developed damages so early. Besides, the tender holder also did not have much experience on the operations of the bus services and so mismanaged it.”
On the other hand, director of the District Urban Development Agency (DUDA) of Koraput Madhumita Nayak assured measures to resume the functioning of the buses at the earliest.
“Out of 20 buses, 16 buses were granted permission to start operation. As the vehicles are based on sensor technology, there were some technical glitches in eight vehicles for which they have stopped plying. After the matter came to fore, the district Collector has held discussion with the concerned bus authorities following which two were repaired. The remaining buses will start operating soon,” informed Nayak.