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Funds meant for constructing bus stands and other infrastructure of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) were diverted for salaries in the year 2014-15, Assam transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the Assam Assembly on March 1.

Replying to a question during the Question Hour, Patowary said funds to the tune of Rs 26.47 crore were diverted without the approval of the finance department for payment of salaries.

Highlighting the state of affairs in the corporation, the minister said that ‘buses with flat tyres were sent to workshops and they never came out’. “Batteries of the buses also disappeared while in the workshops,” he said, adding that there was no accountability whatsoever.

Dibrugarh legislator Prasanta Phukan pointed out that in 2014, the Assembly was informed by the then minister that 40 per cent of work for construction of the bus stand at Dibrugarh was complete. He alleged that the Assembly was misled as the actual work done was much less.

Patowary admitted that the information given in the Assembly then was ‘wrong’ and said he has already ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The minister further said the government is trying to revive the ASTC and plans have been taken up for construction of new bus stands and other infrastructure.

Proposals for construction of ISBTs at Tezpur, Kokrajhar, Khanapara and a bus stand at Majuli were made in the state budget 2017-18.

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