IMPHAL, July 7: There are now questions arising on whether the condition of the Department of Transport, established as part of the Manipur Police department under the state Home Department, before eventually gaining directorate status, will ever improve .
Popularly known as the Motor Vehicle department amongst the general public, the department was split from the Manipur Police Department in 1979. The department is not just a public service and public utility department but is also a revenue generating department. Other than being a revenue generating department, it is also responsible for several projects taken up in the state including the expansion of the Imphal Airport including Night Landing Facility undertaken under the Civil Aviation Ministry, construction of Tupul-Imphal Railway line and computerized Railway reservation system under the Eailways, opening Inland Waterways in Loktak Lake and along the Barak River under Inland Water Transport.
Above all these there are also plans to introduce Helicopter Service in the state with the department as the nodal agency and the Director as the nodal officer.
Notwithstanding all such responsibilities of the department, the present state of the department is appalling with a a paltry strength of 175 staff strength out of which, 29 posts are lying vacant.
It is learnt that of the 29 post lying vacant, six are to be filled by promotion while another 22 posts are to be filled by direct recruitment. The process for the remaining one post to be filled under the die in harness is on.
Since the vacant posts remain unfilled, the department has failed to open District Transport Offices to satisfy the general public.
As of March 31 of the current year, the department has recorded 2,22,234 numbers of vehicles in the state. However, the fact is that there is not enough man power to even check how many of the vehicles registered with the department have failed to pay their tax in time and to check the conditions of the vehicles. This has resulted in the department’s failure to achieve its targeted revenue collection for two consecutive financial years.
The department had for the year 2011-12 targeted a revenue collection of Rs 16.70 crores but failed to collect more than Rs 15.36 crores, and in the next year 2012-13 the target was to collect Rs 18.34 crores however it could collect only Rs 17.55 crores.