Talcher: In spite of the presence of a large number of national companies in this coal belt and the money earned by the civic authorities, the main bus stand here is a picture of utter neglect. Additionally, finances are also available from the District Mineral Foundation Fund’, but still it is not being used to improve the condition of the bus terminus.
Sources said the foundation stone for Talcher bus terminal, a market complex and a toilet-cum-bathing complex were laid November 13, 2003. All the three were inaugurated, October 1, 2005.
Everyday 80 to 100 buses from different places in Odisha as well as out of the state come to this bus stand. It handles approximately about eight to 10 thousand passengers on a daily basis.
Sources said, the Talcher municipality is getting Rs 3,00,000 parking fees annually from this bus terminus.
Cut to the facilities available for the passengers at this bus stand. The toilet is in a shambles. “We never use the toilet as it emits foul smell even from a distance. The female passengers are facing a tough time for relieving themselves. Some of them are forced to use the toilets in spite of the abysmal conditions,” said some passengers.
Non-availability of cold water is forcing passengers to buy water from nearby shops who make a killing taking advantage of the situation. There are no fans available in the searing heat which makes it unbearable for passengers waiting for buses.
The garbage is also not cleaned on a daily basis. Poor illumination of the place has made it a haven for criminals and their anti-social activities once the sun sets. Drinking and gambling continue all through the day and night.
An ATM kiosk has been at the top of the wish list of the passengers and local residents. “God knows when we will have an ATM counter here at the bus stand,” a local resident said expressing his dissatisfaction.
Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) has meanwhile said that it is ready to rebuild the toilet facilities. However, nothing has happened due to the non-cooperation of the Talcher municipality.