MANGALDAI, Sept 10 - The Darrang district Transport Department, which under normal circumstances is a leading revenue earning state government department, seems to be passing through a lean phase this year with regard to revenue collection, probably due to the nationwide economic crisis particularly in the transport sector.
Statistics pertaining to registration of vehicles in the district transport office over the past few months will lay bare how the motor transport market has fallen even in this comparatively backward part of the country.
Data available in the said office amply reflects that during the last five months of the current fiscal, the number of average registered vehicles has fallen about 37 per cent. The figure of 1,641 registered vehicles during April has declined to 1,131 in August. This figure was even worse in July, when only 1,035 vehicles of all kinds, including two- wheelers, were registered.
The average sale of vehicles in retail outlets of more than a dozen transport dealers within the district over the last three months as per registered records stands at 1,113 only. It becomes evident from the above facts how revenue collection of the department has suffered as vehicle registration fee constitutes a major part of revenue which the department earns.
Under such an unprecedented situation, officials of the department have been compelled to intensify other means of revenue generation like detection, detention and realisation of fine from defaulters of the Motor Vehicle Act.
It appears from the official record of tax realisation during the last two months that more than Rs 12 lakh has been earned, which includes arrear tax amounting to Rs 7,50,724 and fine amounting to Rs 4,66,700.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, an office assistant of the department who did not want to be named said, �District Transport Officer Kumar Sanjib Krishna with the help of his Enforcement staff has been undertaking regular drives against motor vehicle offences which has yielded collection of a good amount of arrear tax and fine. Thus, the heavy losses sustained in tax collection through registration has to some extent been offset. During the past two months, our office recorded around 200 cases of motor vehicle offences.�