Authorities forget ‘Notified status’ of National Highway, causing huge loses to SRTC
Jammu, Feb 22: As the Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation continues to run through stressful times, the government seems to have forgotten to remobilize the Corporation assets which could have generated crores of rupees as revenue for the ailing corporation. The possible political and bureaucratic pressure and unwillingness to rejuvenate the once prestigious corporation has resulted in its failure. The irony is that one of the high potential revenue generating resources has been virtually gifted away to the private sector putting more stress on the corporation. Srinagar -Jammu National Highway is a huge potential road for SRTC which until recent past used to fetch lakhs of rupees a day for the corporation. The highway is interestingly a ‘notified’ road , yet gifted away to the all sorts of private transport companies for free , making the survival of the SRTC almost impossible. Sources in the SRTC told KNS that SRTC was losing nearly seventy Five Lakh rupees per day due to non implementation of the ‘ Notified Road’ order which has broken the spine of the corporation. They said that nearly 1, 800 vehicles are plying on the highway every day and none of them is charged a royalty or fee which according to Notified Road , norms was a must. According to the guidelines of the Notified Road, Private Transport companies cannot operate on the road without obtaining permission from SRTC. However, if sources are to be believed , none of the 1800 vehicles plying on the highway has obtained any kind of such NOC from the corporation. They said though many attempts were made to levy royalty on the private transport companies running on the highway, but that did not go well with the bureaucrats and politicians sitting in the civil secretariat. They added that many crores of rupees could have been earned by SRTC by leving even a nominal royalty. “NHA has been receiving the toll tax even as the road constriction is still not complete. We have a decakred notified road since decades yet we are not being allowed to collect royalty.” Said one of the officers in SRTC. He said many efforts have been scuttled by the Babus and Netas in the secretariat in the recent past. Meanwhile the sources in the corporation alleged that many departments have been hiring trucks and other transport directly which is also a violation of the government directives . He said the SRO 157 clearly mentions that no department can hire transport without consulting or obtaining NOC from SRTC, but alleged that many departments were violating the SRO thus causing huge financial losses to the SRTC.