The Motor Transport Department was established by the British regime with the objective to undertake repair and maintenance of Govt. vehicles of A & N Islands. Later in the March 1956 a commercial wing ‘State Transport Service’ was set up for providing Road Transport Service to the general public of South Andaman. The STS gradually spread its service network in all major islands. At present the STS has 13 Units with its head quarter at Port Blair.
The sole objective of the department is to meet the increasing demand of the general public of A & N Islands and to provide better safe mode of passenger transport service, at reasonable cost.
Management:The Director of Transport is functioning as the Head of Department assisted by one Executive Engineer, one Mechanical Engineer and four Assistant Engineers in mechanical areas, Assistant Director (Transport) in operation field, Sr. Accounts Officer (Transport) in Financial matters and Assistant Director (Administration) in the administrative branch. Apart from above the Administration has designated officers of other departments as the Controlling & Supervising Officer for the management of Outstation Units. The C&SO’s being assisted by Unit In-Charges in operation and management of bus service in Outstation Units.
Operation of Bus services:As on 31st March, 2006 the department has 191 Nos. of buses in its fleet strength, of which 143 are on road in various Units. The percentage of fleet utilization is 75%. During the Current Financial Year i.e 2006-07 the department proposes to procure 15 Nos. ready built buses for which an amount of Rs. 2.82 Crores is provided under the Plan Major Head 2070. In addition to the purchase of new buses, the department has renovated 8 old buses, work of renovation of 11 old buses is in progress and is expected to be completed by July 2006 and thereafter work of renovation in remaining 8 buses will be taken up.
Infrastructures: The department has 14 Outstations Units with its headquarter, at port Blair and Mini Workshop, at 8 Outstation Units and there is a proposal of construct Mini Workshop, at Havelock and Neil Island in the 10th FYP. With the construction of the above two workshop the Outstation Units shall be self sufficient to carryout day to day repairs & maintenance of buses in respect of their units. Also a Central Workshop with all modern facilities is under construction, at Port Blair at, an estimated cost of Rs. 2.89 Crore which will further enhance the working capacity with new technologies and machineries to maintain functional fleet of buses. In addition to the workshops, the Department is in the process of procuring 5 Mobile Workshops for which chassis have already been delivered by M/s. TATA Motors. The chassis are being sent to M/s. ELGI Ltd., Coimbatore for fabrication of Mobile Workshop at a total cost of Rs. 79.28 Lakhs . An advance of Rs.39.64 has already been paid to the said company. After delivery of these mobile workshops repair of vehicles during breakdowns enroute can be attended immediately at various locations in the Union Territory.
The department proposes to spread its network to all parts of Andaman & Nicobar Islands wherever motorable roads are being constructed by the APWD. Due to the social obligations the department operates its services in remote and tribal areas where the private operators are reluctant to operate service on low revenue fetching routes. The Department during the year 2004 opened a new unit at Kamorta in the Nancowrie group of Islands and there are at present 3 buses placed in the unit.
The STS played a major role in improving the living conditions of both urban and rural population. The STS buses brought different villages and the city closer to each other and a remarkable improvement in the village trade and economy. The growth of STS and expansion of bus services in different islands set in motion a rapid growth, particularly in rural areas in the field of literacy, health, education, rural trade and industry, employment, communication etc.
The Department through its comprehensive plan proposes to develop infrastructure in all the Outstations Units to be equipped to provide regular bus services to the general public of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Through the initiative of the Administration and hard work put in by the department it is expected that the Department will certainly improve its service in the near future and become the lifeline of the people residing in the remotest part of the Islands.