Balangir: To improve tourist footfall, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has started a 25-seater AC bus from Balangir to Harishankar, which stands amid the picturesque landscape on the southern slope of Gandhamardan hills.
OTDC Chairperson Shreemayee Mishra inaugurated the bus service in the presence of Balangir Collector Chanchal Rana on Monday.
In February, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sanctioned Rs 1 crore for development of the tourist destination.
In the first phase, the bus will be run from the government bus stand of Balangir to Harishankar on Saturdays and Sundays at 8 am. The service will also be available on other special days.
People boarding this bus can also travel to wedding destinations, picnic spots and other tourist spots. Tourism Office of Balangir and State Institute of Hotel Management here will coordinate its schedule, sources said.
To boost tourism in the area, more AC buses will be made operational soon.
Mishra also laid the foundation stone of Balangir Tourism Office’s own building on the occasion.
“The state government has been focusing on the development of the tourist places of western Odisha. For the first time, people will get to enjoy the exotic landscape in this part of the state during the Eco Retreat Festival,” she added.
Notably, the luxury glamping event been scaled up to five unique locations – Konark, Hirakud, Bhitarkanika, Daringbadi and Satkosia this year.