From our Staff Correspondent
SHILLONG, July 6: The Hindi word theek hai and Khasi word biang beit will not help the JNNURM-funded Shillong Public Transport Service (SPTS) buses and maxi cabs sustain in the long run. The terms reflect the people’s uncomplaining approach to “non-issuance” of tickets by the conductors to passengers who travel in the nearly one-year old State Government-run vehicles.
This correspondent frequently commuted on these buses and maxi cabs through a particular route and found that many passengers were least bothered to ask for the tickets. For them Rs 5 or Rs 10, which is usually the cost of the tickets, hardly matters.
Since commuters are least bothered about collecting their tickets, the conductors can easily pocket the money collected from them. If this trend continues, the Shillong Public Transport Service will also go the Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) way, fear some responsible citizens. The MTC, which was once a successful corporation with fleets of buses, went bankrupt for such similar practices.
This fear has reached the office of the State Minister of Urban Affairs Ampareen Lyngdoh and Minister of Transport AT Mondal. The practice of not issuing tickets by the SPTS bus conductors is still prevalent.
A total of 40 buses and 60 maxi cabs under the JNNURM will be added to the existing 160 odd fleet of public utility vehicles run by the government by this month and the State Minister of Urban Affairs Ampareen Lyngdoh has urged the public to shun their unfussy attitude for the overall benefit of the public and the government.
“If you appreciate the transport services provided, do ask for a ticket because the money will be accounted and it will be used for sustaining the services,” exhorted the Minister, adding, “We don’t want this venture to meet the MTC fate.” She rightly held the “happy-go-lucky” commuters for encouraging the erring bus conductors.
Since the introduction of these vehicles in selective routes in and around the city limits, there has been a growing public demand to run them on other routes from village councils, public leaders and elected representatives, stated the State Minister of Urban Affairs Ampareen M Lyngdoh. People want better transport facilities and to be free from the harassment of the local cabbies.
The new public transport services will be introduced in areas that have not been benefitted of these services, informed the Minister. They were first introduced in July 22, 2011 and proved to be an instant hit among the city dwellers.