State run Odisha Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has launched an Android app to let users in Odisha to make bus bookings online, reports The Hindu. OSRTC operates under the Government of Odisha’s Transport & Commerce Department across 18 divisions. The report adds that the OSRTC iOS app is in the making and will be released soon. Users of the app can pay through credit and debit card, internet banking or mobile wallets.

On its website, OSRTC states that top destinations include Konark Sun Temple, Puri, Dhauli Hill and Chilla Lake. OSRTC operates 190 services intra and inter-state (Bhawanipatna – Visakhapatnam via Jeypore, Nabarangpur – Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam – MV 79, Vishakhapatnam – Umarkote, Visakhapatnam – Chitrakonda and Visakhapatnam – Umarkote (Day)) on over a 100 routes.

The OSRTC site helpfully lists the agents and stations from where users can book bus tickets offline. An annual report for 2014- 2015 (pdf) written possibly in pencil (!!) states that there are 351 vehicles on the road, and 107 are currently not plying. Currently, there is also another Android app called Odisha bus service from M-governance, but it operates only on 4 routes: Bhubaneswar – Baripada, Kalpana – Puri, Cuttack – Paradeep and Cuttack – Jagatsinghpur.

$1.5 million profit in 2012-15
Last month, the OSRTC made a profit of Rs 10.53 crore from 2012-2015, according to transport minister Ramesh Majhi. Of this, Rs 277.5 lakh profit was made in 2012-13, Rs 73.8 lakh in 2013-14, Rs 503.2 lakh in 2014-15 and Rs 198.5 lakh in 2015-16 up till 30 January 2016.

Digital developments in Odisha:

– In January, Ortel Communications introduced free public WiFi hotspots for its broadband subscribers as a value added service in Bhubaneswar.

– In October last year, the Odisha Police launched an e-FIR system to allow citizens in the state to file their complaints online across 531 police stations.

– In June 2015, BSNL tied up with the Archaeological Survey of India  (ASI) to provide WiFi hotspots for tourists at the Taj Mahal. In Odisha, the spots are at Konark Temple and Jagannath Temple.

Developments in the transport segment:

– Earlier this week, Google and RailTel extended their high speed free WiFi service to the railway stations of Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Ernakulam Junction, Kacheguda, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Vijaywada and Visakhapatnam. These will supposedly cover 1.5 million passengers and visitors.

– In February, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) launched WiFi at 144 major bus stations across the state. Once connected, users would be provided with a (rather slow) 512kbps connection for 60 minutes or 100 MB.

– In 2013, despite the fact that Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) launched free Wi-Fi service for passengers in buses connecting Mumbai to Pune, as a long time user of MSRTC, I’ve never seen, let alone used WiFi on an MSRTC bus.

Image Credit: MKar under CC BY SA 4.0