Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday informed about its decision to go on a development drive mode to revamp all bus stations across the State.

Replying to media queries on the sidelines of a two-day training and workshop on Sustainable Public Transport for Odisha, Housing and Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena said planning is underway to create a roadmap to give modern look to each and every bus stand in the State with special facilities like shopping mall, multiplexes in the prime and bigger ones.

Jena further informed that steps are being taken to develop the OSRTC bus service by running more number of such buses in various routes across the State especially in the untapped regions where people are still yet to get proper bus services.

During the occasion, Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) MD Arun Bothra informed that as many as 189 new Mo buses will be rolled out in the Twin Cities soon. Out of the total, 50 buses will be electric-operated and are they are likely to be flagged off by April 2020.

"Presently, the Mo Bus has a ridership of around 1.30 lakh but dependence on only 200 buses at present will soon decrease its performance so after government approval we have decided to double the intake capacity of the total buses in the Twin Cities and help in rising ridership. Route charts are also being finalized so that maximum number of passengers can get the benefit out of the introduction of new buses," said Bothra.

Asked if there are any proposals to expand the Mo Bus network to other parts of the State, Bothra said that if government decides to go ahead it will be a good step for everyone.

Around 120 officials of Mo Bus and OSRTC, consultants from abroad also participated during the capacity building programme.

Briefing media during the event, a consultant from Germany said, "CRUT has done excellent job in improving service quality, but a lot needs to be done as Bhubaneswar is growing too fast and the number of passengers commuting through public transport is still low. We want to help this organisation by executing new facilities, services, intelligent transport systems successfully implemented in other States of India and abroad."