Sixteen months after the re-introduction of the public transport service in Manipur, the BJP led coalition government on Wednesday introduced six different bus routes to connect the important hill towns in the state.
The new bus route service will connect the state capital with the remote hill towns of Jessami in Ukhrul district, Kamjong in Kamjong district,Nungba, Tamei and Tamenglong in Tamenglong districts, Khoupum in Noney district.
Manipur state transport(MST) will operate the services from the Inter-state bus terminus(ISTB) from Monday to Saturday.
Apart from the above new bus services, new Imphal-Airport bus express service was also introduced considering the public demand on daily basis except on Sunday and holidays. This Imphal-Airport bus service will be available from Airport (10am,12.15pm,2pm,4pm)and ISBT (9am,11am,1pm,3pm).
Chief Minister N Biren Singh accompanied by a number of ministers, MLAs, state level officials, districts level officials and officials of the state transport department and other public leaders, flagged off the new bus services during a formal launch function of the new bus route services at the ISBT at Khuman Lampak in Imphal around 9 in the morning.
Speaking on the occasion the Chief Minister appealed to the general public to extend necessary support and cooperation to the drivers, handymen and officials while serving the people.
He also announced that the state authority is planning to introduce helicopter service to Tamenglong and Moreh towns from October 29.Appealing to the media to have a balanced reporting for the development of the state, he said that the existing helicopter service between Imphal to Jiribam will have no holiday on November 7, 9 and 10 in view of Ningol Chakkouba, the greatest festival of the state.
In his key note address, the Commissioner (Transport) M Lakshmikumar said that 12 more buses are in the pipeline to be added to the fleet of the MST for the convenience of the public. The main objective of reviving MST was not for earning profit but for public service, he added.
According to Commissioner Lakshmikumar said that the MST has so far transported 3,85,160 passengers and earned Rs. 1.63 crore in the last 382 days till October 20.The total expenditure during the period is around Rs 1.49 crores. The annual revenue of the department is around Rs 35-40 crore a year.
It may be mentioned that the BJP led government in the state reintroduced the public transport services from June 24 last after the transport service under MST ceases its service in 2003.
Since then MST operates bus service along Imphal-Noney, Imphal-Moreh, Imphal-Kakching, Imphal-Yairipok and Imphal-Moirang till date.