Unroadworthy buses sent to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The general manager of the northern regional transport board (NRTB), Mr. S. Sockalingam met members of the press this afternoon. He told them that the secretary of defence had called him on December 19, along with other senior officials to discuss arrangements for the forthcoming Jaffna local government elections on January 29, 1998.

Mr. sockalingam had informed the secretary of Defence that the Jaffna transport depot has 42 buses now - out of which only 32 are in running condition currently; and that if he gives all these vehicles for election work there wont be any bus left with the NRTB to provide services to civilians in Jaffna.

"I, therefore, cannot release any of my buses for election work" he had told the secretary of Defence at the December 19 conference. The secretary of Defence had agreed with him.

However, the government sent 25 buses to the Government Agent in Jaffna for election work on December 21 by sea to the KKS harbour. The government will be sending another fifty buses soon to the Jaffna Government Agent for election work, according to Mr. Scokalingam.

The authorities have asked him (Mr. Scokalingam) to take over these buses after the elections. He has refused the offer on the grounds that the government is offering these 50 vehicles which are in utter desrepair as substitutes for the fifty new buses that the RRAN (Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority for the North) has lined up for the NRTB in Colombo.

Mr. Sockalingam also told the press today that the NRTB transports an average of 12000 passengers daily in Jaffna and that its buses currently run about 4500 kilometers per day in the peninsula.

 

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