Two Bidders for City Bus Service

After failing to get any takers thrice, the Western Odisha Urban Transport Service Limited (WOUTSL) has finally succeeded in getting positive response from two bidders to the tender extended for the third time seeking partner to operate city bus service on PPP mode.

The tenders are expected to be opened at the earliest and Executive Officer of Sambalpur Municipality, who is also the CEO of WOUTSL, hopes that bus services would be launched soon.

The WOUTSL, which will be in charge of regular management of the buses, had floated tender for the first time on August 20 last year. The last date of receipt of tender was September 20 but no proposal was received forcing the authorities to extend the last date to October 22. Again nobody evinced interest and the last date of receipt of tender was pushed to November 22.

This time also the authorities failed to attract any bidder and yet another extension was made till December 26 which saw two private operators responding to the proposal. Under the project, 18 buses have already reached Bhubaneswar.

Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA), which is also a stakeholder of WOUTSL besides Sambalpur Municipality, Burla and Hirakud NAC, had already paid `1.58 lakh for registration of WOUTSL, but on January 3 it resolved to dole out another `40 lakh. Apart from SDA, Sambalpur Municipality will contribute `40 lakh each while the NACs will have to cough up `10 lakh each as stakeholders.

Currently, the region including Sambalpur town lacks organised inter-city and intra-city transportation. It is managed by several private mini-bus operators besides auto-rickshaws. The services provided by these operators are inadequate, inefficient, irregular and ill managed.

Lack of efficient and adequate public transportation system has led to rapid increase in private vehicles resulting in congestion and pollution.

With a view to provide mobility and an organised and affordable public transport service in the region, WOUTSL was formed to introduce intra-city bus service within Sambalpur and inter-city bus services connecting Sambalpur, Hirakud, Burla, Jharsugda and Bargarh.

Executive Officer of Sambalpur Municipality Aniruddha Padhan said once the tenders will be opened, the technical committee will screen the proposals before a final decision is taken.

Issues

  • The region including Sambalpur town lacks organised inter-city and intra-city transportation
  • Lack of public transport has led to rapid increase in private vehicles resulting in congestion and pollution

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