Buses too old to be allocated: Samoon
As part of assets distribution between Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh after being divided into two union territories, the Transport department is likely to allocate 100 buses to the cold desert region.
A meeting in this regard was scheduled to be held on Friday in which it was to be decided that in order to meet the public transport requirements in Ladakh, the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) would contribute 100 of its vehicles to the region.
The meeting was to be held between Financial Commissioner, Finance department and Principal Secretary, Transport department Friday evening.
However, Principal Secretary, Transport Department Asgar Samoon told Rising Kashmir that the SRTC buses were too old to be transferred to Ladakh.
"I don't think it is feasible to allocate SRTC buses to Ladakh. Most of them are too old and can no longer withstand the harsh steep roads from Kashmir to Leh," Samoon said. “I have conveyed the same to the authorities.”
He said it would be better that instead of allocating old buses, the government should provide the newly established union territory with cash to purchase new buses.
As per the current status, SRTC possess around 300 buses but around 100 of them are in a dilapidated condition.
In September, the Government of India formed a three-member panel to oversee the implementation of bifurcation of Jammu Kashmir into two union territories.
The three-member advisory committee headed by former defence secretary Sanjay Mitra includes retired bureaucrat Arun Goyal and retired Indian Civil Accounts Service officer Giriraj Prasad as its members.
They would oversee the distribution of assets and liabilities between the union territory of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
On August 4, Government of India abrogated Article 370 through presidential orders and divided the state into two union territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
The union territory status came into effect from October 31.