GUWAHATI, June 8 � Urging Transport Minister Chandan Brahma to extend his exercises beyond staging a few �publicity stunts� in the form of sudden field visits in the city, public activist Prof Deven Dutta today said that it would require utmost sincerity and pro-activeness on the part of the minister to revive the public transport sector which had sunk to an abyss due to the abject surrender of the Government before the private transporters� lobby.
In a statement, Prof Dutta said that the reckless and audacious manner in which city buses, trekkers, trucks, mini buses, autorickshaws, auto-vans, cruisers, wingers, etc, operated on the roads of the city and elsewhere had left none in any doubt as to the corrupt government authorities� tacit support to the operators who were acting as a law unto themselves.
�Cleansing such a rotten system will require sincere efforts that must go beyond staging a few stunts for public consumption without any genuine intent,� Prof Dutta said, adding that the minister should thoroughly read the Motor Vehicles Act so that he could recognize the violations taking place under the very nose of the authorities.
Prof Dutta said that departmental corruption was a major factor behind the cancerous growth of a lawless situation on the roads and without tackling it would be na�ve even to hope to end such deep-rooted anomalies.
He said that violations of the Motor Vehicles Act was rampant and �let the minister prove the seriousness of his intent, if any, by compelling the commercial vehicle-owners to have their names and addresses written visibly on the vehicles�let him also put an end to the practice of parking of buses and trucks for days and nights together on the roadside, which is done by regularly greasing the palms of the police and transport personnel concerned.�
�Sudden field visits may be essential at periodical intervals to assess the extent of the problems but the entire system right from appointment of honest persons in the departments of Transport and Police is in urgent need of a revamp. Ultimately, a minister has to run his department from his office but he must be in the know of all developments concerning his department,� he said.
Prof Dutta said that a majority of the owners of commercial vehicles such as city buses, trucks, mini buses, trekkers, wingers, cruisers, etc., were politicians -- including ministers, MLAs, political party office-bearers and middle men -- and bureaucrats, police officers, surrendered ultras or so-called student leaders who were too aged to be students any more - something that was behind the growing lawlessness and chaos on the roads.
Pointing out that the city's roads exemplify the violations of every road safety and motor transport norm, Prof Dutta said that the utterly lax attitude of the transport and police authorities was at the root of the chaos. �Had there been strict enforcement of the rules, such a chaotic and dangerous situation would have never happened,� he said.
Prof Dutta also urged the minister to ensure that the traffic rule-related words written on the backside of the city buses were correctly spelt. �Even simple Assamese words are written in a distorted manner which is an insult to the language,� he said.