Imphal, Nov 8 (EMN): Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Thursday feted the staff of Transport (MST) department on being conferred the ‘commendable initiative’ award to the department by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in the category of the ‘Best City Bus Service Project.’
The honour was given for the re-introduction and efficient operation of public transport in the State with the revival of Manipur State Transport (MST). Observation of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which was mentioned on the commendation certificate of the award, was that the MST project had marked a beginning of efficient private partnership in the hills for operation of affordable inter and intra city bus services.
It is also providing a cheaper alternative to the relatively expensive services provided by private operators. The project has potential to relieve traffic congestion.
The award was handed over during the 11th Urban Mobility India Conference cum Expo 2018 held from November 2 to 4 last at Nagpur in Maharashtra.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister congratulated the staff and officials of the department and MST on achieving the feat. He said the national-level award was given in recognition of their dedication and hard work. He said after the revival of public transport service, people from different parts of the state have been requesting the state government to introduce MST bus service in their districts/villages as well.
Stating that majority of the people in the state is still poverty-stricken, the chief minister said that MST bus service had become a boon to needy people. The Government is considering introducing services in many other routes as well, he added.
The chief minister handed over the trophy and commendation certificate of the award to Commissioner (Transport) M Lakshmikumar and Director (Transport) C Arthur Worchuiyo.
It may be mentioned that MST was revived by the state government on June 25, 2017 consequent upon a State Cabinet meeting. In the first phase, MST started with an initial fleet size of 16 buses (10 semi-low floor buses and six newly procured Ultra Star Buses).
On October 24 this year, the chief minister flagged off the second phase of MST bus service, which was operational in seven new routes i.e. Imphal-Jessami, Imphal-
Khoupum, Imphal-Nungba, Imphal-Kamjong, Imphal-Tamenglong, Imphal-Tamei and Airport Express (ISBT to Imphal Airport). MST had earned a total revenue of INR 1,63,42,596 as on October 20. As per the information received from the department, the expenditure on fuel and salary of MST staff could be met from this revenue so far.