Bhubaneswar: Accusing the state government of corruption in scrapping of 121 buses procured for plying in Bhubaneswar-Puri cities at throwaway prices, the Odisha unit of BJP Saturday staged a protest in Bhubaneswar.
BJP leaders alleged that the government is giving away the buses at extremely cheap rates to Kolkata-based scrap dealers leading to losses to the state exchequer.
Under the leadership of BJP Bhubaneswar organisational district president Babu Singh, several activists of BJP took out a protest rally from the Mahatma Gandhi Marg in the city. Later, they got into a scuffle with the police while trying to break barricades on the busy road.
“The city buses were sold in a similar way like the bicycles under ‘Mo Cycle’ scheme which were sold for peanuts to scrap dealers in Kolkata. This is a betrayal to the people of Odisha, including Bhubaneswar. Is it possible for the vehicles to become unworthy of road in just seven years time? A vehicle can run for at least 15 years without any fitness issues and around 60 per cent of buses in the state are plying even after expiry of 15 years,” Babu Singh said.
“Each bicycle under the Mo Cycle scheme was sold for only Rs 500 in Kolkata and the city buses now also met the same fate. I dare the government to provide the costs at which the city buses were purchased and later disposed off,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that 121 buses were purchased in 2010 for city bus services in the Bhubaneswar-Puri region under JNNRUM programme. They were, however, auctioned off through Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Ltd (MSTC) after the RTO recommended scrapping them following an inspection.
The buses were decided to be sold after their seven-year agreement with the DTS (Dream Team Sahara) to operate them under JNNRUM expired in 2017. The agreement was later extended for another year, according to Dipti Mohapatra, General Manager of CRUT.
CRUT, earlier known as the Bhubaneswar-Puri Transport Services (BPTS) manages the Mo Bus service in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Khordha, and Puri.