Frequent attacks on the drivers and staff of the City buses have threatened to derail the city bus services from Bhubaneswar to Puri and within the pilgrim city. But ever since the service has started, it has come under severe attack by private operators, particularly autorickshaws and town buses.
On December 1, drivers and conductors of four city buses were brutally assaulted by miscreants. As a fallout, the operator Dream Team Sahara (DTS) has begun contemplating withdrawing the service on the routes while taking up the matter with the Housing and Urban Development Department. As many as five standard buses are operating between Bhubaneswar and Puri while nine mini-buses ply within the city.
According to sources, the bone of contention is the operation of the buses to and from the Puri Railway Station. As these city buses offer substantially cheaper option to passengers, tourists and pilgrims, the autorickshaw operators have begun to feel the pinch.
As a result, they are resorting to violence and physical assault. Despite complaints, police have been turning a blind eye to the crime,” sources said.
While a high-level meeting comprising the DTS operators and Puri district police authorities was held on the issue on December 4, Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Injeti Srinivas had written to Puri Collector NK Nayak seeking his intervention and to resolve the issues.
The department has also asked the Puri district administration to expedite issue of permits between Puri and Konark to start city bus operations. Though DTS has applied for route permits for six buses, there has been delay in issuing the permits.
“We are awaiting the permits and will commence operations on the route as soon as they are issued,” DTS CEO Sudhanshu Jena said. (Source – New Indian Express)