No takers to operate city bus service in Berhampur

Berhampur: City bus service in Berhampur and its adjoining towns in Odisha’s Ganjam district is hanging fire as no operator is showing interest to ply buses even though the authorities have floated tender twice.

“The first tender was floated in June last year. The last date of second tender was on December 27, 2013. In both cases, not a single application was received,” said Ajit Mishra, chief executive officer if Ganjam Urban Transport Services Limited (GUTSL), a special purpose vehicle of facilitating transport project.

GUTSL was formed under the chairmanship of district collector. The other members of the SPV are chairman, Berhampur Development Authority and chairpersons of Hinjili, Gopalpur and Chhatrapur NACs.

The authorized share capital of the company would be Rs 1 crore. While the Development Authority and Berhampur Municipal Corporation would have 40 per cent share each in the SPV, state owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC), Chhatrapur, Gopalpur and Hinjili NACs would have 5 per cent share each, sources said.

The private party who will bag the tender, will have to operate and maintain the fleet. The GUTSL has already finalized routes and halts.

“We will write to the government as there are no takers for tenders. Decision would be taken according to advice of the government,” said Mishra, also commissioner of Berhampur civic body. Meanwhile 20 out of proposed 32 buses have already been procured by the governmet. Another 10 buses will reach here soon as order has already been placed. The new buses are parked at Ambapua, on the outskirts of the town, for last 15 days.

The diesel-run vehicles run the risk of getting damaged if these are parked for long without running, sources said.

The state government had sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the purchase of the buses.

There is no bus service between Berhampur and Gopalpur and Chhatrapur and passengers have to depend on jeeps and vans for travel.