The Meghalaya government is unnecessarily paying a monthly rent of about 50,000 for keeping damaged buses of the Shillong Transport Public Service (STPS) in three private parking spaces. The government has been incurring this unnecessary expenditure for more than two years.
During an inspection conducted by Urban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling, it was found that three parking spaces were taken on rent at Mawpat, Laitkor and Mawlai Mawkynroh and damaged SPTS buses are being parked in these depots. About seven damaged SPTS buses are also kept at a government land at Mawblei.
Recently a proposal was made by the Urban Affairs department to dispose of a total of 53 defective buses. The 53 buses were of the 120 sanctioned in the phase-I under the erstwhile Central scheme – Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) in 2010.
However, there are also buses supplied by other companies that are not in good condition.
At Laitkor, 17 buses are being parked, and the land owner is charging Rs 40,000 a month, while 9 buses are parked at Mawlai Mawkynroh, and the land owner is charging Rs 550 for one bus per month (550×9= Rs 4950).
At Mawpat, 20 buses are also parked, and a rent of Rs 5,000 per month was being paid by Synroplang Self Help Group that runs these buses through an agreement with the government.
After inspecting these depots, Dohling said that he decided to have an inspection in order to assess the condition of these buses.
“There are some buses that need minor repair, while some require to be disposed of due to high repairing cost,” he said, while admitting that these damaged buses has caused unnecessary expenditure to the department.
Dohling said that he has asked for an immediate report on the matter, so as to speed up the process of disposing of these buses to avoid such unnecessary expenditure.
According to the Minister, his department may even consider allowing interested groups to repair buses with minor defects.
The minister also said that the main problem with most of these buses supplied by Ashok Leyland was the defect of engine and non-availability of spare parts, adding that before procuring these buses from the company, the department should have ensured that the company has its after-sale services.’