Smooth and adequate Public Road Transport Connectivity is a necessity for Socio-Economic development of our State. It is also very much important to make this connectivity available to all sections of the people including those inhabiting the vast countryside which constitute 86 per cent the total population of Assam. To ensure overall development of the state, proper emphasis on equal development of this major segment of the populace is of utmost importance. But, as of now, Public Road Transport facilities are not evenly distributed, being more concentrated in the urban areas and sparsely in the rural areas. As a result, a section of this rural population is deprived of amenities that are necessary to uplift their Socio-Economic condition. Necessity to do away with such disparity cannot be underestimated in any Welfare State.
As most of the modern facilities relating to (a) higher education, (b) specialised health facilities, (c) industries, (d) business hubs, (e) employment generating agencies and (f) market places are mostly concentrated at the urban areas, the rural populace have no alternative but to travel to the cities or other distant areas to avail these facilities. With the population explosion together with increasing concentration of the modern facilities at urban areas and expansion of road network, the travel need of the rural populace has also increased manifold.
Here comes in the urgent need to augment the Public Road Transport Connectivity for the people who inhabit the countryside.
Assam State Transport Corporation is duty bound to provide adequate, economic, and dependable public transport service to the people in consonance with the laid down objectives of its formation under State Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950.
Of late, ASTC is inducting modern digital technology in its operation like E-Ticketing, Automatic Break-Down Management System, GPS Bus Tracking System and Integrated Public Transport Management System etc. ASTC is also in the process of inducting a highly skilled and technically qualified workforce to manage its affairs in the new working environment.
With modern technology together with an efficient workforce in hand, ASTC is capable of undertaking any challenging task. It is proposed to implement the most optimistic programme of “Chief Minister Gramin Parivahan Yojana” by ASTC which will also boost the image of the Government.
A sizable number of remote villages are still deprived of Public Road Transport Connectivity. People from such villages have to walk a long way before they can avail a Public Transport Vehicle. Routes are planned so as to provide connectivity to such remote villages to connect them to major road networks which in turn lead to Sub-Divisional or District Head Quarters.
It is proposed to cover 3,02,422 KMs per day, which will generate 1,20,96,880 Passenger KMs daily.
The routes are listed in the Annexure-A
1. Boost to Socio-economic development: Since rural population constitutes 86% of the total population of Assam, Socio-Economic development of the rural mass may be considered as real development of the state. Smooth and adequate public transport connectivity to all the people inhabiting the villages in Assam will give a boost to the rural economy of Assam which will contribute to the overall development of Assam.
2. Employment: It will also generate direct employment opportunities in the capacity of drivers, conductors and mechanics to more than 3,332 youths of Assam at the rate of 1.5 drivers, 1.5 conductors and 1 mechanic respectively against each bus. Besides, there will be indirect employment opportunities to many more and thereby it will contribute towards solution of the vexed unemployment problem in the state.
3. Decrease unlawful activities & insurgency: Along with Socio-economic augmentation of the rural mass together with diminishing unemployment problem, the inclination among the youths to go astray for unlawful activities or joining the insurgency outfits will be negated.
With major efforts currently underway by the Government to expand and improve the road infrastructure including implementation of PMGSY, the road density has already increased to a great extent. But, proportionate increase in the number of Public Road Transport Vehicles on the extensive network of roads is also equally important.
With proper implementation of the “Chief Minister Gramin Parivahan Yojana”, the whole Socio-Economic status of the state will be catapulted to a new height placing Assam among the top five developed states in India.
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