Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary reviewed the activities and progress of Transport and Inland Water Transport (IWT) at Dispur on Wednesday. Patowary directed the transport officials for strict enforcement of Motor Vehicle Act and Rules on road safety by checking over-speeding, monitor overloading, and enhancing revenue collection by preventing evasion of road tax, permit renewals, etc.
Commissioner of Transport Adil Khan appraised Minister Patowary that revenue collection for 2021-22 (up to June 10, 2021) is Rs. 105.87 crores. Transport Department has undertaken massive state-wise operation against overloading detected in trucks carrying sand, goods, stones, boulders, etc. which cause road damage and accidents. Till June 15, a total of 994 overloading cases was booked, and Rs. 2.38 crores fine imposed.
Over-speeding is the single biggest cause of road accidents and resultant deaths. Therefore, Transport Department has launched a state-wide drive against over-speeding. Traffic Interceptor Vehicles, deployed all over the state, record the speed and registration number of the vehicle, and e-challan is issued by post. The total fine imposed due to over-speeding till June 15 is Rs. 1.60 crores. Transport Minister has urged the people to drive within the permissible speed limits. Meanwhile, construction of the DTO office is going on at Nagaon, Majuli, Hailakandi, Charaideo, Biswanath, Hojai, Salmora, Amingaon, Darrang, Lakhimpur.
Reviewing the progress of IWT, Minister Patowary asked Director Gautam Das to prepare a comprehensive database of all the vessels and renovate the vessels to be used as a cruise to boost the inland water sector in the state. He further directed to prepare a survey of the 15 national waterways in Assam to explore the possibility of construction of jetties for the development of industries and commerce within the 5 km radius which will have long-term benefits.
Director Gautam Das appraised the Minister that presently four Ro-Pax are operating viz. two each at Neamati-Kamalabari route and one each at Guwahati-North Guwahati route and Dhubri- Fakirganj ferry route. Revenue generated by IWT during 2020-21 is Rs. 2.82 crores.
So far, rehabilitation schemes have been implemented benefitting 1,145 families affected due to the new bridge construction at Bogibeel and Dhola–Sadia. Three-speed boats for rescue purposes with World Bank funding have been deployed in Majuli, Neamati, and Guwahati.
Two boats for survey and enforcement will be deployed in Guwahati and Dibrugarh divisions and one Catamaran vessel, which can operate even in shallow-draft, will be deployed in Guwahati–Kuruwa ferry service. IWT will soon introduce an e-ticketing facility for ferry services and install GPS in commercial and ferry vessels for effective monitoring.
Principal Secretary Dr. KK Dwivedi and other senior officials were present at the meeting.