Bhubaneswar: While a decision is awaited, a discussion is underway according to which private buses across Odisha might ply as per odd-even formula. Shortage of staff, lack of enough customers, closure of hotels and restaurants and 7 pm-7 am curfew are few of the reasons that have prompted the bus owners’ association to make this proposal.
Speaking to OMMCOM NEWS, the association’s Secretary Debendra Sahoo said that the proposal has been made and various district-level associations are still discussing the pros and cons and that a decision will soon be made. He hoped that intra-state bus services as per odd-even formula will be active from June 1 and will take another 15 days to be completely back to normal.
Sahoo said that they have requested the State Government to open selective hotels and restaurants in proximity to bus stand so that the staff and travellers will have easy lodging and fooding.
He added that a total of 14,000 buses ply in Odisha with 60,000 being directly employed and another 2 lakhs indirectly employed. All of these people are in dire crisis induced due to COVID-19 lockdown. With the odd-even formula, if not in profit at least the buses will not be plying in a loss.
Sahoo clarified that the association wishes to reconnect entire Odisha through the bus service, albeit the number of buses, will be less initially.