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.
Though money is available from the District Mineral Foundation Fund, 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, was laid November 13, 2003. All the three were inaugurated October 1, 2005.
Everyday 80 to 100 buses from different places in Odisha and other states arrive here. The bus terminal handles around 8,000 to 10,000 passengers every day.
Sources said, the Talcher Municipality is earning Rs 3 lakh as parking fees annually from this bus complex.
Now, cut to the facilities available for the passengers. 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 drinking water is forcing passengers to buy it from nearby shops which make a killing taking advantage of the situation. There are no fans for passengers waiting for buses.
The garbage is also not cleared on a daily basis. Poor illumination of the place has made it a haven for criminals and anti-social elements 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.
Meanwhile, Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) has offered to rebuild the toilet facilities. However, nothing has happened due to the alleged non-cooperation of the Talcher Municipality.