BHOPAL: The state transport department has again invited severe criticism after the Sidhi bus tragedy.
The department is always in the limelight because of corruption. Whether it is about extortions at the checkpoints or about corruption in RTO offices, the department always brings a bad name to the government.
During the Congress rule, when the income-tax department raided the offices and residential premises of the colleagues of former chief minister Kamal Nath, the transport department stole newspaper headlines.
The transport department was on top of all the departments as the major amount of money was collected from there.
During the Congress rule, a sum of Rs 58.9 crore was collected from that department. The income-tax department has mentioned about it in its report.
At the time of collecting such a huge amount of money from the department, all the rules and regulations were thumbed down. The transport department’s check posts have become a business centre for the government.
According to reports, about 2,500 people are engaged through private agencies for those checkpoints. They extort money from the truck drivers passing by those check posts.
Although everyone knows about it, nobody dares to stop this illegal practice.
Interestingly, when the issue of extortion at the checkpoints came up during the Congress rule, Govind Singh Rajput was the transport minister.
The BJP used to make allegations against him. After the BJP’s return to power, Rajput has been given the charge of the transport department.
When the BJP had returned to power a dispute over whether Rajput should get the transport department or not cropped up.
Rajput got the food and civil supplies department after he had defected from the Congress to the BJP, but when ministry was expanded in July, Rajput got the transport department through his clout.
He resigned from the ministry as he completed six months without being a member of the House.
Rajput was not given any department for long time after the by-poll results were out. He was not made a minister as he stuck to his demand for the transport department.
Rajput, however, got the department he wanted to.