Cuttack: Despite announcement of lockdown relaxations, private bus services has not resumed in Cuttack district for over four months resulting in huge losses for the bus service providers.
Hundreds of private buses are seen lined up along the Badambadi-Link Road main road. Not only private buses but government buses are also facing the same fate.
Worthy to note, after bus services were resumed between twin cities Cuttack-Bhubaneswar in May this year, only one bus of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) had been operational.
Instead of running on full capacity that is 40-seats, the bus was carrying an average of 20 passengers keeping in mind the social distancing norms, it has been learnt. However, services were stopped since July 17 on account of huge losses, OSRTC Cuttack unit in-charge Balaram Mohanty informed.
“Unless and until we get further order to resume bus service, it would be premature to predict anything at the moment”, seeking anonymity an official of OSRTC expressed.
On the other hand, Cuttack denizens hire private vehicles to travel to other districts. Private buses have rusted and gradually getting run down, as spare parts have dilapidated.
“Crores of rupees will be needed for repair when the buses would ply on roads. Most bus drivers have gone to their villages. Still we are paying them every week”, a private bus owner Kapila Barik said.
Expressing his views, Cuttack private bus owners’ association president Ajaya Barik said, “A 50-seat bus travelling with 25 commuters would hardly get any profit in the present scenario”.
Notably, very few private buses have been plying on roads.