JAMMU, Jan 19: Notwithstanding the fact that overloading in passenger vehicles has become a major cause of tragic road accidents in erstwhile Doda district, the PDP-BJP Coalition Government has not fixed any time-frame for plying of more State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses in the districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban.
Moreover, the Minister Incharge Transport Sunil Sharma, who is also MLA from Kishtwar, said that he had not given any assurance about plying of SRTC buses on different routes of Inderwal constituency in the Kishtwar district on the floor of the House during previous Budget Session.
During the Question Hour, Congress MLA from Inderwal Ghulam Mohammad Saroori wanted to know from the Government what steps have been taken to ply SRTC buses on eight routes of Inderwal constituency as was assured by the Minister in last Assembly Session.
However, the Transport Minister Sunil Sharma said that he had not given any such assurance. “JKSRTC is operating its bus service on Kishtwar-Passerkote-Singpura route. But due to shortage of fleet at Kishtwar, other routes cannot be catered with available fleet”, he said, adding “as soon as augmentation of fleet is made these routes will be brought under SRTC operation”.
He, however, admitted that general public has been facing lot of inconvenience due to non-availability of SRTC bus service on the routes mentioned by the Congress MLA.
This infuriated the Congress MLA, who remarked, “it is unfortunate that despite being MLA from Kishtwar district the Minister is not serious about bringing an end to the public inconvenience”. He said that even announcement regarding operating of SRTC workshop in Kishtwar has not been honoured by the Minister.
“Earlier, 37 SRTC buses were being plied in erstwhile Doda district but at present there are only 12 buses as in the absence of workshop the buses were sent to Jammu following development of snag”, he said, adding “there is no mechanism in the SRTC to ensure timely repair of the vehicles and their further deployment in the areas facing shortage of passenger vehicles”.
He further said that it was due to inability of SRTC to ply more buses that overloading has become a routine in the erstwhile Doda district leading to tragic road accidents.