Punjab CM Amarinder Singh announces mini bus permit policy
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced a mini bus permit policy and also virtually distributed 3,000 permits to the rural youth as part of his government's 'Ghar Ghar Rozgar te Karobar' mission.
Singh said another 8,000 permits would be distributed the rest of the year, taking the total to 11,000. This will generate both direct and indirect employment and there is no deadline for rural youths to apply for the permits.
The chief minister directed the Transport Department to create a user-friendly online facility within the next three months for receipt and processing of applications of all bus permits to make the system more transparent and eliminate corruption, according to a government statement.
These novel initiatives will go a long way in providing smooth rural connectivity and seamless delivery of citizen-centric services, said the chief minister.
He lambasted the previous SAD-BJP regime for issuing “illegal” permits to “chosen people” without due publicity or adherence to legal procedures or rules.
Recalling that his government had promised cancellation of all illegal bus permits to ensure that genuine people get the benefit of the scheme, Singh said under the transparent system adopted by the Transport Department, a public notice for mini bus permits was issued for the first time ever in newspapers.
People were encouraged to apply online without any hassle, and as many as 12,384 applications were received.
Congratulating Transport Minister Razia Sultana and the officers of the department, Singh said that they had set the ball rolling to achieve the five-fold objective of creating employment opportunity for rural youths, making travel safer for women and children, ensuring safer vehicular traffic for travellers and pedestrians, reducing vehicular pollution and doorstep delivery of government services.
He said the Vehicle Location Tracking (GPS) Device Project, launched at a cost of ₹15.50 crore would make travel safer for women and children in public transport vehicles.
He disclosed that such devices had already been installed in 100 per cent of state-owned PUNBUS buses and 50 per cent in PRTC buses, which would be fully covered in the next six months. Razia said the GPS system would be installed soon in private buses too.
The chief minister also referred to the state-of-the-art command control centre at state level and four regional centres to track the vehicles, and said this would facilitate handling of panic button alerts by any woman/child, online challan for over-speeding vehicle, absence of valid insurance and pollution certificate etc. On the occasion, the chief minister also laid the foundation stone of the Institute of Driving and Traffic Research (IDTR) Kapurthala at a cost of ₹22.50 crore under Mission 'Ghar Ghar Rozgaar te Karobar', with training capacity of 20,000 drivers annually to impart quality training to rural youth, and thus generate employment avenues. The upcoming training institute, to be managed by Tata Motors, would be equipped with camera based Innovative Driving Testing System (IDTS) to assess the driving skills of the candidates.