Badambadi Bus Stand Cuttack
CUTTACK: Badambadi, one of the biggest and busiest bus terminus in Odisha, is plagued by a plethora of problems. Potholed roads, overflowing drains, heaps of garbage, dilapidated rest sheds and stinking ambience are to name a few. The unhygienic toilets and shortage of drinking water add to the plight of commuters.
This despite the fact that more than 1,000 buses operate from here to every nook and corner of the state and bus stand witnesses a footfall of over 60,000 commuters every day. But the congested, ill-equipped and badly maintained terminus has failed to cater to the needs of the people that it draws every day. "People from far-flung areas come to Cuttack because the Orissa High Court, SCB Medical College and Hospital, Sishu Bhawan and many other important offices are located here. They face lot of problems as the bus stand is very ill-equipped and ill-maintained," said Ramakant Sarangi, a commuter from Keonjhar.
The bus stand turns into a vertible hell during the rainy season. Ankle-deep muck filled water floods the terminus even after a short spell of rain. Stranded passengers have a harrowing time wading through this water. "The Badambadi bus stand is in a mess. People have to hold their breath while entering it because many commuters use it as an urinal," said Dinakar Rath, another commuter.
Though there are more than 40 unrinals on the bus stand premises, they are so ill-maintained that none of it can be used. The bus stand has not been repaired. As a result, the rest shed is in a completely dilapidated condition. "Passengers had a narrow escape a few months ago when a large chunk of ceiling of the waiting room fell," said Kalia, a coolie .
The list of problems of the bus terminus does not end here. Congestion is another big problem. The Badambadi bus stand, sprawling over five acres, was established in 1974 to accommodate 150 buses. With the passage of time, the number of buses has reached 1,000 but the authorities have never bothered to upgrade the infrastructure. Most buses have to be parked along the roadside because of space constraints resulting in acute traffic congestion and disruption of vehicular movement.
"The infrastructure at the bus terminus is grossly inadequate compared to the number of buses and passengers. A huge area inside the terminus has been encroached upon by fruit-sellers and other vendors but the authorities have never tried to evict them. Even the entry road of the bus stand is full of craters forcing us to park the buses on the roadside," said Ajay Barik, secretary of Private Bus Owner's Association, Cuttack.
He said the money collected from private bus owners is not being spent on the upgradation of the bus stand. "The state government collects Rs 4.5 lakh per month from the bus operators. The money is supposed to be spent on developing passenger amenities and upkeep of the bus stand, but nothing is being done," alleged Barik. Sources said the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has outsourced the cleaning work of the bus terminus to a private body but the organization is not doing the job properly.
Contacted an OSRTC official said the Badambadi bus terminus would be renovated soon solving all problems. "We are aware of the problems and taking steps to resolve those. The state government has come up with a plan to renovate the Badambadi bus stand and the work will start very soon," a senior OSRTC official said.