* Jobs of over 300 employees termited in 2017
* Over 400 employees suspended in 2017
* Mercedes to provide 175 buses, five have already arrived in Guwahati
* Corporation earned Rs 1 crore from advertisements in 2017
* To introduce smart ticketing from mid-January
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 12: Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) has adopted a two-pronged strategy – expanding its horizon breaking fresh ground and making the corporation corruption-free – so as to attain solvency and keep that up.
Cracking down on corrupt officials, the Corporation termited the jobs of over 300 officials and suspended over 400 employees, including a few officers, in 2017. The discipliry action, according to sources in the Corporation, was taken to make ASTC corruption free and streamline its activities. Charges against them were misuse of funds, negligence of duty, rash driving and the like.
Meanwhile, the Corporation is on the job of expanding its activities by breaking new ground. It has already signed agreements with a number of transport companies like Mercedes, Scania and Volvo. Mercedes is to provide as many as 175 buses to ASTC, and five of them are set to arrive in the State by January-end. Five Volvo buses have already arrived in the State, awaiting formal flagging off. TV sets are to be fixed in each of these luxurious buses each of which costs over Rs 1 crore each. The Corporation earned Rs 1 crore in fiscal 2017 from advertisers. It gives the rear sides of its fleets of buses as space for advertisers. This year also, the Corporation is set to provide advertisers space to earn revenue.
A significant development in the Corporation is that it is going to introduce smart ticketing – issuance of tickets digitally. Conductors of buses are to be provided with a swiping machine each for issuing online tickets with prints. This apart, the Corporation is going to hire around 100-150 technical experts by mid-January, 2018.