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Rashmi Ranjan

Cuttack: In a major blow to the Odisha government's ambitious inter-state bus terminal project in the city, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday directed the administration to maintain status quo of the Goddess Kali Temple situated at the site in Khan Nagar.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a group of local residents, the court directed the district administration to maintain the status quo of all movable and immovable properties belonging to the temple.

The temple is located almost in the middle of the 12-acre project site.

Last week, sitting Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab had expressed his reservations over the site for the proposed project and said it was ‘ill-conceived’.

He said the unilateral decision was taken in the state secretariat without his knowledge though it fell in his constituency. The Parliamentarian had said the construction of the terminal would mean the demolition of one of the biggest public libraries in the city and taking away a playground. The worst, he said, the locals were not consulted before such an important decision was taken to shift the location from the earlier Gopalpur to Khan Nagar.

Notably, the new bus terminus which will be named after Netaji Subhash Bose, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 65 crore.

The bus terminal will come up on 12 acres of land and have modern facilities for passengers. As many as 180 buses can be parked at the terminal at any time. The three-storey terminal building will have waiting rooms for passengers, food court, cloakrooms, e-vehicle charging points, among other facilities.

Moreover, an Integrated Information Management system will be there for the passengers.

An area of around 2 acres adjoining the proposed Netaji Bus terminal, will be reserved for the development of commercial complex on public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

A decision had been taken to extend the Ring Road by 2 km for the proposed terminal. The detailed circulation plan will be finalised in consultation with all the stakeholders.

The existing Badambadi Bus Terminal in the Silver City caters to a large number of buses on a daily basis. However, it is facing space crunch due to the increase in the number of buses needing parking facility.

Besides, it is faced with a gamut of problems including lack of public amenities, encroachment by vendors, inadequate drainage, unorganised parking, undefined entry and exit points and spill over of bus parking on main road due to insufficient space.

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