TODAY -

MST revival flagged as biggest achievement of Transport Dept
Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, April 27 2018: The State Transport Department has succeeded in reviving the Manipur State Transport (MST) and has been providing efficient and low-cost service to the public.

However, the shortage of adequate staff has been the biggest hindrance to the Department in carrying out rules and regulations enforcing activities from time to time.

This was stated by Deputy Director David Elangbam while addressing media persons at the ongoing series of press conferences organised by DIPR at its Moirangkhom office, today.

Apart from the Deputy Director, the Department was also represented by Thiyam Dinachandra, DTO (Imphal West) and Dr Polem Lenin (OSD, MST).

David said that transport system is an important indicator of the development of a society as well the public.

The main activities of the Department are mostly granting of driving licences, vehicle registration, route permits, revenue collection and enforcement of Motor Vehicles Act and Rules etc.

Computerisation of various programmes with the introduction of VAHAN and SARATHI under the Smart Card System has been introduced recently, he added.

The Transport Department is also functioning as the Nodal Authority for the projects taken up under the aegis of various Central Ministries including expansion/development of Imphal International Airport, construction of Jiri-Tupul railway line, Inland Water Transport Projects (Loktak Phase I and II and Barak River) and introduction of helicopter service, including air ambulance, he informed.

With a share of 75 percent by Central Government and 25 percent by the State Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs has approved helicopter services at Jiribam, Moreh and Tamenglong, the Deputy Director said and added that the Department is trying its best to start the helicopter service from May 15, as promised earlier by the State Government, although the rate for the helicopter service is not yet decided.

Under the Civil Aviation Ministry, steps are being planned to implement another helicopter service, known as Uran II, at five locations, namely Jiribam, Moreh, Tamenglong, Parbung and Thanlon.

Regarding the revenue generated, he added that the revenue of the year 2017-18 is the best in recent years, with a total of Rs 29, 96, 18, 473 till January 2018.The Department has been strictly working on converting manual registration and licence to smart cards, and is planning towards making manual books invalid" so as to let the public know that possession of smart cards is a must.

To ensure proper implementation of traffic rules and regulations better, the Department needs to increase its staff strength as the present number of staff cannot effectively handle the enforcement, David added.

The Department is planning to organise all year round road safety week and the State Government has already discussed with the Central Government regarding the necessary funds for the initiative.

The Deputy Director pointed out that standardisation of vehicle permit, registration and payment of vehicle taxes have been discussed and there is a proposal for even completely waiving off the registration fee for eco-friendly e-rickshaw and other vehicles.

He explained that standardisation of vehicle registration for the country will ensure that an individual will not face any inconveniences when he goes to another State with his/her vehicle as the registration number of the vehicle can be procured with minimal hassle.

Speaking about High Security Number Plate, the Deputy Director clarified that there is no GPS feature in the said number plate and the plate was introduced just to maintain uniformity.

Replying to a query, he said that there are currently no plans for any form of regulating school vans.

Importing new vehicles in the State is approved by a committee chaired by Commissioner of Transport.

Even though there is a Supreme Court order to turn 15 to 20 years old vehicles into scrap, there are no such actions in the State till date as there are currently no such mechanism for turning the vehicles into scrap.

OSD of MST, Lenin said that the revival of MST, after being defunct for many years, by the present State Government in June last year, is one of the biggest achievements of the Department.

He added that the introduction of public bus services has helped in bringing in a good amount of revenue to the Department.

The revenue earned from June 26 last year till March 31, 2018, is Rs 1, 05, 17, 568 .

Comparing this amount to the operational cost of Rs 93 lakh, the introduction of the public bus transport system is a beneficial step for the Government and at the same time, it provides affordable service to the public, he added.

Currently, there are seven inter-district bus services routes, and three new routes have been approved by the Government to begin service at the earliest.

Lenin also explained about the new initiatives planned by the Department in the nearby future including hiring of MST buses on public holidays, introduction of transit advertisement, hand-held electronic ticketing machine.

MST is also venturing as a petrol pump (retail outlet) as offered by Bharat Petroleum Oil Cooperation (BPCL), he added.

The officials of the Department later appealed the public to cooperate and support the initiatives taken by the Department and to follow proper traffic rules and regulations.


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