Special Correspondent

MANAPPARAI: The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) in the present Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime has introduced 2,230 new buses, compared to the 5,600 new buses introduced during the entire previous AIADMK regime, the State Transport Minister, K. N. Nehru said.

Speaking at a function to inaugurate a new motor vehicle inspector unit office here on Friday evening, he said as many as 10,600 new buses were introduced during the previous DMK regime (1996-2001).

The Minister said the buses operated in about 890 routes in the rural areas were diverted towards towns and cities during the previous regime. This left the people of villages in the lurch.

The Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, has ordered to concentrate on the affected areas and buses have already been introduced in 420 of the 890 routes. Referring to the functioning of the State Express Transport Corporation, Mr. Nehru said 110 new buses have been introduced so far. He said the state accounted for a record number of 97 lakh vehicles and they were served by about 40 Regional Transport Officers offices and another 47 unit offices.

The Chief Minister has given his consent for recruiting additional staff for the TNSTC. He assured steps for new premises for the government headquarters hospital and a government arts college in Manapparai town.

The District Collector, Ashish Vachhani, in his presidential address said 68 new permits were sanctioned in the district in the last 10 months.

The Chairperson of the District Panchayat, Sangeetha, R. Manikkam and Khaleelur Rahman, MLAs, S. Konthadapani, managing director, TNSTC, and others spoke.

The Minister inaugurated new bus routes on the occasion.