SUNDARGARH: Amid administrative neglect, the new bus terminal building at Sundargarh district headquarters town has remained unutilised for 20 months even as miscreants have damaged substantial portion of the structure and have stolen costly items.
The Sundargarh district administration has invested Rs 2.30 crore from different sources to construct the bus terminal at Lahurdhipa, about 1 km away from the existing bus stand. But, the Sundargarh Municipality never bothered to protect it.
As per reports, the existing bus stand, which is congested, runs from an area of hardly 25 metres in width and 50 metres in length. The locality remains crowded with the main market place, District Court building, Collectorate complex and district police headquarters building and other key government offices located there.
The small bus stand receives 150-160 incoming buses daily, while parking of light commercial vehicles and unauthorised roadside kiosks result in heavy traffic congestion. The town has a population of about 50,000.In view of the public inconveniences, the administration had started work on the new bus stand at Luhuradhipa on 4.7 acres by end of 2014 with contribution of Rs 2 crore from periphery development fund of MCL.
In August 2016, the Executive Officer of Road and Building Division had handed over the terminal building to Sundargarh Municipality, but the latter refused to take possession citing that sanitary works were incomplete. Around Rs 30 lakh was provided by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) and the Sadar block office completed the water pipeline and sanitary works. While the shifting of the old bus stand to the new location continued to be delayed, the civic body was blamed for not protecting the property either, said councillor HS Sarangi.
Sarangi said miscreants have damaged costly glass enclosures of the terminal hall, ticket booking counter, waiting hall and other facilities, while PVC doors of toilets, electrical fittings and about 25 fans were stolen.
Executive Officer of the Municipality Jagdish Mahanada admitted that properties worth Rs 20-25 lakh have either been damaged or stolen, adding that a police complaint was filed by him against unknown miscreants 10 days ago.
Two months ago, Collector Vineet Bhardwaj had held a meeting and formed a committee under the chairmanship of Sundargarh Sub-Collector Birasen Pradhan to complete necessary works and operationlise the facility.
Pradhan said construction of bus bay and parking space, concrete paving of areas for light commercial vehicles, toilets and other associated facilities would be completed shortly to operationalise the bus terminal.
JEYPORE: Frequent sightings of bears in areas along Borrigumma-Nabarangpur highway under Jeypore Forest Division have spread spread panic among commuters and locals.While locals are scared to take the road after sunset, the Forest department is yet to take any measures to check straying of the wild animal onto the main thoroughfare.
Sources said more than 20 bears are seen wandering in Kamara, Anchala and Parli jungle areas which are located near Borrigumma-Nabarangpur highway. Commuters and passersby often sight the wild animals along the highway. Sources said the bears stray into the area to feast on jack fruits, sugarcane and cashews.
Though there have been no reports of any encounter between commuters and bears, the latter are at a risk of being hit by vehicles speeding on the highway. Recently, a bear was injured after being hit by a truck. The incident had triggered concern among the wildlife lovers across the district.
Locals and wildlife activists have repeatedly demanded identification of areas frequented by bears and fencing along the highway. However, no steps have been taken by the Forest officials of Koraput and Jeypore divisions except putting up a lone signage warning commuters and passersby about presence of bears in the area.
The area is known to be home to many bears which live in caves located near the highway and requires special attention of the Forest department.Meanwhile, wildlife activists have sought intervention of the Forest and Environment Ministry to save the bears in Borrigumma and demanded fencing of along the highway near Kamara jungle.
BERHAMPUR: Blame it on Ganjam district administration, the bus terminus at Haladiapadar is yet to become operational. The terminus, constructed at a cost of Rs 12 crore and spread over five acres, has been placed under the supervision of Berhampur Development Authority. It was inaugurated in 2016 by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. However, despite having all required facilities, it is lying unused.
The terminus was directly connected to NH-16 by a road. Thus, an indirect connecting road was constructed with a traffic post to avoid accidents. Accordingly, the administration had planned to get it functional from last Utkal Divas. On failing to do so, the administration drew criticism from various quarters.
The administration tightened its belt and convened a meeting of officials of line departments and private bus operators’ association. While Berhampur Sub-collector Sidhartha Sankar Swain presided over the meeting, BeDA secretary Sambit Kumar Rout, PWD EE BK Padhy, RTO Ranjan Biswal, officials of National Highways Authority of India and leaders of private bus operators association attended it.
The private bus operators said they were invited to the meeting for the first time. They said since the terminus is 5 km from the city, the route permit of all the private buses should be rescheduled. They also emphasised on the need for expanding the main connecting road to the terminus from the city at Andhapasara.
The Sub-collector said tender for the expansion of Andhapasara road had already been floated and the work would start soon. He further added that the route permits of private buses would be modified as necessary, besides more traffic posts would be installed.
As the road was also used by other heavy vehicles, vulnerable places of accidents would be identified and a special traffic patrolling vehicle would be pressed into service, Swain said.Another meeting would be held to solve the problems as pointed out by the private bus operators.
DHENKANAL: Even after 35 hours, Forest officials could not extend treatment to the elephant which sustained injuries after being hit by a speeding train. The elephant was found limping on NH 55 on Saturday as it tried to head towards Pathargadi forest. The mishap occurred at Kaunriapal. After the incident, a team of forest officials, led by DFO Rinku Kumari, tried to provide treatment to the jumbo. However, they failed as the animal was roaming in a herd for the past two days.
The team had offered watermelons to the animal that were administered with medicines. Wildlife APCCF HK Bisht accompanied the forest team and moved to different places in search of the animal. Forest department made announcements in Kaunriapal and adjacent villages about the movement of elephants and asked villagers to maintain distance.
The forest officials are patrolling day and night. Forest department has provided transport facility to people to reach their villages after evening from Rasasingh and nearby places. A herd of 50 to 60 elephants is crossing the villages in morning from Brahmani and going to the forest by crossing Rengali canal.
Due to the increasing man-elephant conflict, six persons were killed by the elephants in the past 10 days in the district. People alleged that they had been spending sleepless nights for the last 15 days. “We will take steps towards launching an awareness drive for the villagers soon,” the DFO said.