Protest By Slum Dwellers Halts Eviction For Modern ISBT In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Days after the State Cabinet approved the proposal for construction of a modern Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) at Baramunda in Bhubaneswar, a team led by officials of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) today carried out an eviction drive in Khandagiri to make space for temporary shifting of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) Bus Depot from Baramunda.

However, moments after the eviction began today, the slum-dwellers near Tapoban High School in Khandagiri area of Bhubaneswar staged a road blockade protesting the eviction. Vehicular movement was also disrupted for a while after they blocked the Khandagiri-Chandaka main road by burning tyres.

The blockade was later withdrawn after police and BMC officials reached the spot and pacified the slum dwellers. Though the eviction drive has been halted for the time being, the officials have asked the slum dweller to vacate the area in three days, sources said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government has taken up a project to establish a Modern Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) at Baramunda, Bhubaneswar and a bus Depot at Khandagiri for shifting of the present OSRTC Bus Depot from Baramunda. It is a strategic project not only for improving the public transit system in the city but also connecting many capital cities and business centres in other states.

Reportedly, the ISBT will have an idle bus parking space for 190 buses, apart from a public parking space for more than 250 four-wheelers and about 175 two-wheelers.