“You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system” – ErolOzan
Every morning, our city wakes up to a million dreams, million aspirations and million souls, finds its way to a greater day with hard work and perseverance. For these thousands and lakhs of souls to get to their goal, public transportation is like a boon and to their aid is Dream Team Sahara, in collaboration with the Govt. of Odisha providing City Bus Service in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. But, for Dream Team Sahara, the dream seems to be shattered with poor maintenance of the buses and inefficient management systems. Here’s what we have observed.
1) Bus or moving billboards!
The pity matter is that almost the entire body of the buses are so covered with various ads that it becomes new visitors to the city way difficult to recognize the city buses. To make the situation worse, there are a couple of private buses who have painted the bus similar to the city buses which creates a hitch for rural commuters to differentiate between the duos. The buses have literally turned into moving billboards.
2) The Jugaad
The humorous part is the jugaad made by the authorities for the sign boards depicting the destination of the bus and the bus number. They are either merely printed on a normal A4 paper and pasted to the windshield or written with markers in the most weird manner. It clearly symbolizes the misfortune of the city public transportation system.
3) The sorry condition of the seats
The awful conditions of seats speaks in itself how deficient the management is towards the maintenance of the limited running city buses.
4) God’s own buses
MCL got hold of an even greater setback wherein we observed no boundary at the Master Canteen bus depot. Here buses are either parked at night or for the long term maintenance purpose leaving the buses at God’s own risk. Over the period the buses have become shelter of stray dogs and even few sources associated with the agency claimed that many illegal activities take place inside those buses during night time.
5) Bus stops are adorned with private vehicle parking & encroachment by small food stalls
The condition is not only shoddy for the buses, but the bus stops are also in a very sorry condition as many such stops are occupied by small food stalls. Even some wider extensions on the roads which have specifically been created for buses are usually found dotted with 4-wheeler vehicles. Infact the bus stops have remained just as a purpose of symbol and a source of income as company ads are displayed on these places.