Odisha Yet To Decide On Resumption Of Inter-State Buses
Odisha’s Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera has said that the government is yet to decide on the resumption of inter-state bus operations, even as Andhra Pradesh has requested for Point-to-Point (P2P) bus services to be normalized between the two states.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ latest guidelines, released on 18 May, indicate that states may permit interstate bus services with mutual consent. Although the state transport department has sought an opinion from neighbouring states in this regard, no affirmative response has been received so far.
Nilam Sawhney, Andhra Pradesh’s chief secretary, in a letter to his Odia counterpart Asit Tripathy, wrote that the Andhra Pradesh government is ready to facilitate the operation of point-to-point (non-stop) bus services operated by state transport undertakings and other private players, provided it has prior intimation on the same. “On the letter of Andhra Pradesh chief secretary, we have sought views of the state transport commissioner and OSRTC authorities. We will take a call based on their suggestions,” said a senior transport department official.
The Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) recently resumed plying on sixty-six routes across the state. However, the passenger count has stayed dramatically low. Transport Minister Behera expressed concerns at the low footfall and suggested that some routes may be shut down temporarily to keep the business viable.