The state government has decided to soon introduce city bus services connecting Berhampur to its adjoining towns like Chhatrapur and Gopalpur. The decision is based on a survey by a Mumbai-based consultant on bus services in the biggest town in southern Odisha. The final project report will be submitted to the state government before tender is issued, which will invite private companies to work through public private partnership. The government is likely to provide the buses while the chosen private company will be responsible for services management. Berhampur Development Authority (BDA) will act as a nodal agency. "The government is likely to provide the required buses as no transport operator was coming forward to provide buses when the BDA floated the tender earlier," said BDA chairman Kailash Rana.
At a high-level meeting, held recently in Bhubaneswar, the consultant recommended introduction of at least 25 buses in the first phase in Berhampur, Gopalpur and Chhatrapur. "The district administration will extend all support to BDA in this," district collector Krishan Kumar said. "We have already discussed the matter with the government and talks are in advanced stage," said Purna Chandra Pathy, vice-chairman, BDA. On project cost, he said it was not finalized. Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Notified Area Councils of Gopalpur and Chhatrapur will be other stakeholders in the project. "We have been asked to identify the bus stops within the town. We will soon do that," said BMC commissioner A K Mohanty.
The Berhampur civic body had introduced town bus services in the 1990s. But the services were withdrawn after the municipality incurred heavy losses. Now, there is no government transport service linking Chhatrapur, the district headquarters town, and Gopalpur, a tourist spot, with Berhampur and people have to depend on trekkers and matadors. With rise in population and tourist visits, authorities feel the services will be feasible this time. Source: Times of India