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Odisha Govt to Run Special Buses for Rath Yatra and Pilgrimages

Bhubaneswar: To facilitate the smooth travel of devotees during the Rath Yatra of Mahaprabhu Jagannath, the Odisha Government has announced the operation of special buses from every block in the state to Shreekshetra Puri. This decision was made during a review meeting held with officials of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) on Monday.

State Commerce and Transport Minister Bibhuti Bhushan Jena disclosed that the government-run bus service will be available from 314 blocks to Jagannath Dham, ensuring hassle-free movement of devotees during the Rath Yatra. “Bus services will also be initiated from Odisha to major pilgrimage sites across the country,” Jena added.

Government buses will soon start plying to significant pilgrimage destinations including Shree Ram Janmbhoomi Ayodhya Dham, Tirupati, Mahakaleshwar, Varanasi, and Vrindavan. Major cities such as Puri, Bhubaneswar, Brahmapur, and Rourkela will have direct bus services to these holy places.

Additionally, the state is planning to introduce more eco-friendly electric buses. “Initially, it has been decided to procure 100 buses,” Jena said. He also highlighted that the PM-eBus Sewa has commenced, and Odisha will benefit from it. According to central government guidelines, buses older than 15 years will be scrapped and replaced with electric buses in the future.

Addressing concerns about the LAccMI bus service introduced by the previous BJD government, Jena remarked, “What’s in a name… people should get the service.”

The review meeting also focused on enhancing the role of OSRTC in the state’s transport sector. Principal Secretary of the Commerce and Transport Department Usha Padhee, Transport Commissioner Amitabh Thakur, and OSRTC Chairman and Managing Director Diptesh Kumar Pattnayak were present.

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