Punjab Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring during his surprise visit to the bus stand and PRTC workshop, in Patiala, on Friday

Punjab


DW BUREAU / PATIALA Punjab Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring today paid a surprise visit at Patiala bus stand and PRTC workshop in the wee hours to boost the morale of employees and to know about problems of drivers, conductors and other staff besides getting direct feedback from the passengers on travel facilities in government buses. He also inspected public facilities/utilities at the bus stand. While interacting with the drivers and conductors, the Transport Minister informed that the case of regularizing the services of contract workers is under consideration of the government, adding that the state government has already increased the wages of contract drivers and conductors by 30 per cent and implemented a 5 per cent annual increase in the salaries. He also appealed to the drivers and conductors of government buses to cooperate in completely curbing the bus mafia so that the revenue of government transport agencies could be increased and better travel facilities could be provided to the people. On this occasion, Paramjit Singh, conductor working on a contract basis apprised his grievances to the Transport Minister, categorically saying, "Since Amarinder Singh Raja Warring took the reins as the Transport Minister, my and my colleagues' confidence in the government has boosted. We assure that all the drivers and conductors will work diligently." Raja Warring also honoured PRTC conductor Milkha Singh with a special cash reward of Rs 5100 for performing his duty honestly and diligently. The Minister was accompanied by Municipal Corporation Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, PRTC AMD Nitesh Singla and GM Patiala Depot Er. Jatinder Pal Singh Grewal, GM Admn Surinder Singh, GM Chandigarh Depot Maninder Singh Sidhu. Reviewing public facilities at Patiala bus stand, the Transport Minister took serious note of the complaints received on social media about food being sold to the people at high rates in the shops located inside the government bus stands and directed the AMD and General Managers to conduct regular inspections in this regard, besides viewing the VTS installed to regulate the speed of buses in view of the complaints of over speeding. After inspecting the public bathrooms at the bus stand and the cleanliness of the bus stand, Raja Warring inspected the quality of the tea served at the bus stand by having a cup himself. Meanwhile, talking to reporters, Raja Warring said that by curbing the tax evading operators and impounding buses running without permits, the state has noticed an increase in booking of government buses and daily revenue of PRTC has increased from Rs 1.70 crore to Rs 1.87 crore. Replying to a query, he said, "Keeping in view of the interests of private transporters, the bus mafia is being curbed from the state by empowering RTAs as well as GMs to inspect illegal and unlicensed buses within the perimeter of 500 meters of the bus stand. Replying to another question, the Transport Minister said that the private bus companies affected by COVID were given tax exemption of Rs.100 crore but if the operators still delay paying tax, strict action will be initiated. (editor@dailyworld.in)




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