In a significant move towards strengthening public transport in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to offer a subsidy to private-public transport operators owning 15 to 20-year-old vehicles for the purchase of new vehicles and add to the fleet of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC)
Principal Secretary Transport Department, Dr Asgar Samoon finalised the modalities for rolling out this mega initiative of transport department here at a high-level meeting.
The meeting was attended by Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma, Joint transport commissioner Vikas Sharma, RTO Jammu Deep Raj, Director Finance Transport Department Mahesh Dass, ADC Jammu, FA SRTC, representatives of JK Bank, ICICI, PNB and HDFC Bank besides representatives of private bus owners.
The meeting was also attended by Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir AkramullahTak, ADC Srinagar KK Sidha, and other officials through video-conferencing.
Under the initiative, Rs 25 crore has been earmarked to provide Rs 5 Lakh subsidy to the private-public transporters owning 15 to 25-year-old vehicles for purchasing new vehicles. The old permits and registration will be transferred to their new vehicles.
Similarly, as part of the revival plan Rs 35 crore has been earmarked for SRTC to buy luxury buses for interstate service and add to its fleet for increasing service on inter-district routes.
Reiterating the need for the institutional build-up of the SRTC, Dr Samoon said that its service should be the preferred choice of passengers in terms of comfort and safety.
For strengthening the urban transport in twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar, Dr Samoon directed for release of Rs 12. 5 crores to SRTC for each city so that SRTC fleet will be added to the existing private buses for further easing mobility of the people.
Saying that growing accidents in the hilly regions of the state was a concern for the government, he said as per reports overloading is termed as the main cause in maximum accidents. He said to overcome the problem the SRTC is going to spend Rs 10 crore to procure passenger vehicles for Chenab valley and Rs one crore each for Gurez, Leh and Kargil.
Dr Samoon hoped that with the strengthening of public transport, the mobility of people will be revolutionised and pressure on roads eased.
“This initiative has been taken after studying and analysing the traffic management and its challenges particularly in Chenab valley and twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu.” Samoon said, “We are in process of more such initiatives so that people shall prefer to board public transport rather than taking out their personal cars on roads.”