|ASTC station, Chapar in an abandoned state |
AMBU NATH SHARMA
GAURIPUR, June 23 - The Assam State Transport Corporation station opened a few decades ago at Chapar in the district of Dhubri is presently in an abandoned state for reasons best known to the Corporation and as a result, it is losing lakhs of rupees every year.
A beautiful Assam-type house with all facilities was built covering a land measuring more than three bighas and well protected by boundary walls in 2012. There were two to three employees for management of the station and ASTC buses were running regularly. Even, the then Chief Minister Sarat Chandra Singha used to travel by the ASTC buses. But due to utter negligence and mismanagement, the Assam-type house turned into a place of shelter for the gamblers and gradually, the house got damaged totally.
During the period of the second term of the AGP rule, the then Transport Minister Chandan Brahma started to construct a building just behind the earlier Assam-type house and it till now remains half-done. A few years back, the ASTC authority allowed the tempo and Magic drivers to use the campus as their stand and a nominal fees was also said th have been collected, but that too remained unpaidfor the last three years. Thereby the Corporatin has been incurring losses to the tune of lakhs of rupees annually.
In this connection, MLA Ashok Kumar Singhi of Bilasipara East LAC and the chairperson of the Chapar Municipality met the higher-ups of the Corporation with a proposal to turn the abandoned campus into a market complex by providing the necessary infrastructural facilities. But the proposal was reportedly not accepted, therby lending credence to the widespread belief of the people that the ASTC authorities seem to be encouraging the private buses to ply and helping the owners of the private buses to earn a lot of income as there are very few ASTC buses. The people of the area have urged the Transport Minister to look into the matter and take appropriate action so that the ASTC campus is properly utilised and make it viable by turning it into a market complex.