On the one hand Jammu and Kashmir Government is talking of having a modern rapid transport system for Jammu and Kashmir on the other hand the health of the state government-run road transport corporation or the JKSRTC is pathetic and it is on the last breath courtesy corruption and misappropriation of funds and non-profitable operations with very skeletal services visible inside and outside the state. The majority share of passenger transport business is confined into the private sector which to some extent has been eaten into the vitals of the state government-run organization. Here again blame it on the political system and the custodians of the political parties who have been responsible for eroding the viability of such ventures. The irony is that the private operators do not operate on routes which are not profitable, they don’t follow rules, overload and there is no schedule. The defunct road transport corporation is slowly bleedung to death because of the complicity of the political actors who have no stake in the public welfare but want the private players many of whom are related to them to control the market. The permits, permissions, and license regime is all geared for corruption while the government corporations are allowed to meet silent death. Burdened by large number of overage vehicles the move to introduce electric buses too looks a non-starter as profitability is concerned. No new purchases have been made, and the general condition is that this transport body will be extinct in new years if corrective measures are not taken. The time now is for the government to infuse funds in the organization, buy new vehicles and hire them on contract basis to provide transport services to the people. Even in advanced countries like USA, and UK transport facilities are provided, and subsidized by the government, and these are not left alone to the private sector. Instead of curbing the JKSRTC, and ensuring an early obituary to it the government needs to curb corruption, and ensure that the organization keeps serving the people of the state, and tourists who come in large numbers. It is good to see the concerned minister making a surprise visit to New Delhi headquarters of the JKSRTC to nail the errant staff but what about the operations in the state?
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