TODAY -

Learning from the follies of the past : Reintroducing MST bus service
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: June 24 2017 -



Reaching out to the hills. Taking on board the Naga People’s Front in the Government. Inking a deal with the Churachandpur JAC and convincing them to claim the bodies of the eight people killed in the protest against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015.

Getting the UNC to lift its marathonesque economic blockade imposed on all the National Highways of the State.

Now turning its eyes on re-introducing bus services under the Manipur State Transport.

Clearly the BJP led Government seems intent on going two or three steps ahead of the Congress Government, which ruled the State uninterrupted for three consecutive terms.

Good indications, but care needs to be taken to ensure that in their bid to do something more meaningful, these exercises do not end up as a means to belittle the former Congress Government but is a sincere attempt to do something meaningful for the people.

No exhaustive reasons have been spelt out on why MST died a natural death in its avatar as the Manipur State Road Transport Corporation.

However what has stood out is the point that after being corporatised, MSRTC just could not sustain itself and not without reason.

With private players emerging and offering much better service, it was but natural that the fund flow dried up.

A classic example of a department, failing to live up to the challenges of the competition, after it was corporatised, for in turning the MST into a corporation, the understanding was that it should be able to sustain itself.

Why this failed has not been spelt out in great details, but a cursory look should suffice to conclude that it could not live up to the challenges from the private players.

The BJP led Government must have surely studied the past and must now have known the reasons why the semi-low floor buses launched under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM), was such a colossal flop.

Why did it fail to attract travellers is the question that comes to mind and one can just recall how the bus service which was flagged off with such pomp turned out to be such a damp squib.

Again here it was the competition from the private players which ensured that it died a natural death. A sure indication that whatever the Government does, private parties can do better.

With diesel autos making a mark and offering much better service than the rickety, old buses used by the MSRTC and state of the art buses introduced by private operators to ferry passengers on long journeys, there were just no takers for the MSRTC bus service.

Old timers will certainly remember those days when MST buses used to go up to Dimapur and all the hill district headquarters were connected to Imphal by MST buses.

What happened to these bus services after MST was corporatised ? This is a question which the BJP led Government must have studied minutely before announcing that MST bus service would be re-introduced from June 25.

One only hopes that lessons have been drawn from the past to make the new endeavour fruitful.



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