5,000 YOUTH TO GET MINI BUS PERMITS BY MARCH,600 new buses to be added
All buses to be equipped with vehicle tracking system
Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : To check monopoly in the transport business and provide employment opportunity to the youth of state, Transport department would complete the task of issuance of 5,000 new mini bus permits to the youth, as Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had announced, by March this year, said the Punjab Transport Minister Ms. Razia Sultana, while addressing a press conference here at Punjab Bhawan today.
While announcing several pro-people initiatives in the transport department, she informed that the Transport department has received about 12000 applications for mini bus permits and the process of issuing 5,000 permits would be completed by March 2021. Subsequently, extra route permits for buses would also be started from March.
To detect the movement of the buses and check the ticket theft, she said that it was also proposed to install a vehicle tracking system in all buses. The fleet of PUNBUS has already been equipped with the system and it would be installed in PRTC buses in the next six months.
600 new buses will be added to the state government's fleet in this year, said the Transport Minister, adding that 350 buses will be procured for PUNBUS and 250 buses would be included in PRTC fleet to further strengthen the public transport of the state. Now, Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS have 1611 buses and PRTC has 1121 buses.The state government has also intensified efforts to provide modern facilities to the passengers at the bus stands. The new timetable of buses would also be implemented soon, she added.
The Transport Minister said that 6 automated vehicle inspection and certification centres would be set up in the state and the work has been commenced in this regard. Transport department would also set up two heavy vehicles driving test tracks at Batala and Malerkotla in addition to Mahuana and Muktsar. Transport department would soon launch a doorstep delivery of driving license and registration certificate, she added.
In another important announcement, she said that it was proposed to introduce an e-challan system to check the violation of traffic rules so that people could drive more cautiously. Punjab has a plan to set up a Institute for Driving Training and Research at Kapurthala with a cost of Rs.18.50 crore through PPP mode for imparting training to the heavy vehicle drivers.
Ms. Razia Sultana also announced that a toll-free helpline 1800-180-0222 would be set up soon, where people can get the information about the status of their driving licences and registration certificates from 8am to 8pm (seven days a week).
DIGI REFORMS IN TRANSPORT DEPT.
Hailing the transport department officials for providing seamless services despite COVID situation, Ms. Razia Sultana said that the Department of Transport introduced a number of digital initiatives to provide the best possible services to the people in hassle free manner. Learning driving licences have been issued from Sewa Kendras. SDMs have been authorized to issue driving license and vehicle registration certificates. Requirement of NOC has been abolished for transfer of private vehicles in the state.
She said that the facility of online registration and submission of fees for High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) has been provided and the facility of affixing these plates at home has also been introduced. More than one million such number plates have been affixed in Punjab. Earlier there were 22 fitment centers now the number has been increased to 102. She said that Punjab has also introduced a user friendly e-auction policy in the Transport Department for reserved numbers (known as fancy numbers) thereby exempting the general public from visiting the registering authority office and participating in the process from their homes online.
Elaborating another pro-people decision, the Transport Minister said that M-Parivahan mobile app has been launched in the state, with this people don't need to keep the original documents of vehicles with them. Vehicle owners can keep the documents on their mobile in digital format in 'M Parivahan and Diggy Locker'. All the Pollution Checking Centres have been made online, she added.
Although the transport sector suffered a lot due to the unprecedented lockdown imposed to contain the pandemic, said Ms. Razia Sultana, adding that the transport department paid the salaries to all the regular and 4000 outsourced employees on time without any deductions. The validity of expired registration certificates, driving licenses and fitness certificates have been extended till March 31, 2021 in view of COVID.
Besides arranging buses to take the stranded labourers and workers to the railway stations to send them back to their home states , she said that the transport department had sent buses to Nanded Sahib, Delhi, Rajasthan and other places to bring back the stranded Punjabis to their home safely.
Giving major relief to bus operators in Punjab, the state government had waived 100 per cent motor vehicle tax for all stage carriage, mini and school buses, while deferring payment of arrears of taxes without interest and penalty till March 31, 2021.