Jharsuguda’s new bus stand was inaugurated with great fanfare on Sunday morning by Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari, Jharsuguda MLA Deepali Das, and Brajrajnagar MLA Alka Mohanty as the chief guests. However, by nightfall, it was locked up and deserted. Passengers who went to the terminal for buses were turned away, and hundreds of coal carts were seen moving on the bus stand road at around 8:00 p.m., when the road was supposed to be closed.
Regional Transport Officer Sundhir said that the bus stand could not be operational due to a lack of lanes on the alternative road being constructed for heavy vehicles. However, he did not explain why the bus stand was inaugurated if it was not yet ready to be used.
The bus terminal was re-opened in 2021 by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The cost of construction was estimated at 10.5 crore, but the project was delayed due to a lack of funding. The district administration eventually had to pay 7.88 crore from the district mineral fund to complete the project.
The bus terminal remained non-operational as a management company has not yet been found. This raises the question of whether the bus stand was a waste of money. After all, it has been sitting there for almost a year now.
In the meantime, passengers who need to travel to Jharsuguda will have to continue using the old bus stand, which is overcrowded and in poor condition. This is a major inconvenience for the people of Jharsuguda, and it is a reflection of the government’s failure to provide adequate public transportation.