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Income from govt buses has increased by Rs 7.98 crore: Transport minister

The minister said daily collection of the transport department had registered an increase of Rs 53 lakh approximately. “After strictness against defaulters, the department has collected Rs 3.29 crore as part of pending government tax and majority of the amount has been deposited by the big companies/operators,” he added.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: October 22, 2021 9:33:16 am
Punjab news, Punjab buses, STA, Luxury buses for inter-state travel, Punjab news, Indian expressPunjab Roadways buses in Chandigarh.

PRESENTING HIS ‘report card’ of 21 days after taking over as Punjab Transport Minister, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring on Thursday said an increase of 17.24 per cent in income of government buses, which amounted to Rs 7.98 crore, was registered between October 1 and 15 alone.

Addressing a press conference here, Warring said: “The collection of government buses Punjab Roadways and PRTC was Rs 46.28 crore between September 15 and 30 and increased to Rs 54.26 crore between the October 1 and 15.”

The minister said daily collection of the transport department had registered an increase of Rs 53 lakh approximately. “After strictness against defaulters, the department has collected Rs 3.29 crore as part of pending government tax and majority of the amount has been deposited by the big companies/operators,” he added.

Warring hit out at former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, calling him as “compromised CM” who “could not fulfil the promise to end the mafia” when Congress got mandate to form government in the state. Warring said he wanted to do “pashchatap” for four and a half years when Amarinder Singh was the CM. Stating that the “achievements” (in transport department) could have been made four and a half years ago, Warring added, “I want to apologise to people who elected me…We made many promises which we were not able to fulfil.”

Calling SAD president Sukhbir Badal and Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia “kingpins of the transport mafia” and accusing Amarinder of “compromising” with the erstwhile SAD-BJP alliance, Warring said, “Captain Amarinder Singh became compromised chief minister instead of being Punjab chief minister…Today when there are talks of new party and alliance with BJP, it is a part of that compromise only.”

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) hit back at Warring, asking him “why he was not asking for a free and fair probe into the Rs 1,700 crore loss incurred by his department in order to pin down responsibility for the same”.

In a statement, SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said: “Raja Warring should demand a free and fair inquiry into the role of his predecessors so that they might be held accountable. The inquiry should also focus on all the wrongdoings in the transport department in the last four and a half years so that concrete action can be initiated against those guilty of causing such a huge loss to the state exchequer.”

Rs 400 crore for new bus stands/workshops and upgradation

Warring said that Rs 400 crore will be incurred on the new bus stands/workshops and for upgradation of which 52 new bus stands would be constructed with Rs 230 crore, while 70 bus stands would be upgraded at a cost of Rs 45 crore and Rs 81 crore will be spent on new construction and upgradation of 16 workshops.

842 new buses and 800 new recruitments

The transport minister said “the purchase order for procuring 842 new buses (587 for Punjab Roadways and 255 for PRTC) had already been given to Tata Motors and within 45 days, these new buses will be on the roads of the state”. He added that the recruitment process of around 800 drivers, conductors and other staff had been initiated for these news buses.

‘No pendency will be tolerated’

Asserting that no pendency of work would be tolerated, Warring said that “the officers have been directed to clear pendency of driving licenses (DL) and registration certificates (RCs) at the earliest. All the 32 driving and testing tracks will be opened on Saturdays so that working and other people can go for testing on that day. Days for booking slots have been increased from 30 to 45 days.”

He said ‘Pendency Melas’ will be organized to clear pendency related to DL/RC and other RTA (Regional Transport Authority) office related issues. The first such mela will be held in Muktsar.

Other initiatives

Warring said that to keep bus stands and buses neat and clean, a cleanliness drive has been launched and every fortnight, all employees of the department participate in cleanliness campaign across all bus stands of the state. He also said that advertisements pertaining to tobacco, pan masala etc. had been removed from government buses. Vehicle tracking system are monitoring the behaviour of drivers and conductors towards the public besides speeding and other activities, based on which three each best performing drivers and conductors would be honoured at each depot every fortnight, while 11 drivers and 11 conductors will be honoured at state level every month.

 

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