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The Executive Member of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) highlighted forthcoming plans and emphasized road safety initiatives and plans for adopting CNG and EVs.
Kokrajhar: The Transport Department in Assam's Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) has registered over Rs 88 crore in revenue in the ongoing financial year till January, Executive Member (EM) for Transport and Lottery Ranendra Narzary revealed in an exclusive interview with Business NorthEast. The area encompasses the Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang, and Udalguri districts. So far, 72.58% of the targeted revenue has been achieved across all districts, he stated. According to the EM, the department has prioritized enhancing road safety measures and making it an accident-free zone in the last three years. Narzary also informed us that plans to introduce CNG and EV vehicles in the region are in the pipeline. Below are excerpts from the interview:
Business North East (BNE): In the last three years of your government, what has the transport department done for Bodoland's development and growth?
Ranendra Narzary: In the last three years of BTR, under the guidance of Pramod Boro, the Chief of BTR, we have witnessed a remarkable journey. We initiated road safety awareness programs to reduce road accidents, a growing concern. Despite stringent traffic rules, the number of accidents, especially in Kokrajhar and Baksa, has been alarming. Last year alone, Assam witnessed over 3,000 deaths due to road accidents. This year, we have witnessed over 2,500 road accidents. Hence, it is my earnest request to the people to adhere to the traffic rules, avoid certain things like not wearing helmets and over-speeding, and help us reduce the number of road accidents.
BNE: What are the upcoming plans for the transport department?
Ranendra Narzary: We are planning to set up a call center to regulate accident cases and ensure timely assistance. This will involve tying up with nearby hospitals, ambulances, and police stations. We aim to have a team of 4-5 members available around the clock to manage the call center efficiently. Additionally, we have introduced a total of eight buses, including seven AC buses and one non-AC bus.
BNE: After this new government, could you share the revenue earned by the transport department?
Ranendra Narzary: In Kokrajhar district for FY 23–24, we targeted 45.05 crores and achieved 77.99% with a collection of over Rs 35 crores. In the Chirang district, our target was 28.30 crores, and we collected around Rs 20 crores. In Baksa district, our target was 23.96 crores, and we achieved 74.86% of it, with a collection of over Rs 17 crores. In Udalguri district, our target was 24.06 crores, and we achieved 65.97% of it, with a collection of over Rs 15 crores.
Here is the detailed district-wise revenue collection for FY 22–23 and FY 23–24:
However, we acknowledge the need for more manpower to enhance revenue collection, and we have requested Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister for State Transport, Fisheries, and Excise, to address this issue.
BNE: Do you have plans to introduce CNG and EVs in your territory? When are you planning to implement this?
Ranendra Narzary: Yes, we are considering the implementation of compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric vehicles (EVs), but this will take some time to materialize in this part of Assam. However, we are working towards it.
BNE: What is the status of digital services in the transport department?
Ranendra Narzary: We have been actively adopting e-services and a scrappage policy. The people here are aware of it and are following these initiatives.