More buses to ply in Maoist-hit Odisha districts

Bhubaneswar, Dec 29 (IANS) The Odisha government has decided to ply 30 more buses in the tribal-dominated and Maoist-affected districts to improve transport connectivity, an official said on Tuesday.

Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) would launch the buses on New Year’s Eve in the Maoist-affected areas in the state under the Biju Gaon Gadi Yojana (BGGY), said OSRTC CMD Sanjeev Marik.

Marik said the buses would be introduced in four Maoist-affected districts on December 31 and the bus service would be flagged off by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

He added that the buses would ply on 28 routes in Sundargarh, Deogarh, Nuapada and Gajapati districts.

While the state government has earmarked Rs.21 crore to launch 100 buses during the 2015-16 fiscal, it had launched 57 buses earlier and the number would go up to 87 with the addition of 30 more buses.

The remaining 13 would be launched in subsequent phases, said OSRTC sources.

Under the BGGY scheme, an operator running buses on these routes will get benefits of exemption of road tax and permit fee from the state government for a maximum period of five years from the date of issuance of the first permit under the scheme.

The beneficiary can also avail loan for purchasing vehicle from bank or any other financial institution with loan repayment period of more than five years.

The benefits under the scheme can be availed for a maximum period of five years, OSRTC sources said.

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