The book "HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ROAD TRANSPORT INDUSTRY IN BHUTAN" is the first of its kind ever brought out on the subject of road transport industry in Bhutan. Practically there is no basic literature available on the road transport industry in Bhutan dealing with the concepts and management of its operations. The paucity of literature will cause a great hindrance for the present management as well as future reference. Therefore this book is expected to FiII an important lacuna at the turning point of the 21 st century.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part is revised version of my dissertation entitled "THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROAD TRANSPORT COMMUNICATION IN BHUTAN' submitted to the Indian Institute of Road Transport(IIRT), Mumbai in December 1972 in lieu of the examinations for Associate Membership of the Indian Institute of Road Transport (AMIRT) . I t begins with the geographical position of the country, ancient road transport of man and mule covering condition of road and means of communication, flow of traffic and trade, construction of highways, introduction of motor vehicles, birth of BGTS and finally the conclusion. This part provides a detailed view of the background of road transport industry in Bhutan which is expected to be useful reading material on the subject and future reference.
The second part describes, in a nutshell, the changing scenario of road passenger transport industry in the country high-lighting the situation and need leading to different phases of road passenger transport viz. zonalization in 1973, corporatization in 1983, privatization in 1985 and finally revitalization of road transport system with the establishment of "Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA)” in January 1997. This was a wise decision taken by the Royal Government to place all related activities of motor vehicle and road transport under one umbrella of the RSTA.
The book has been written on the basis of my practical experience gained during my services with BGTS on two occasions in 1971-72 as Transport Officer and 1983-87 as Deputy Operations Manager and theoretical knowledge acquired through my study and training undertaken at 'Indian Institute of Road Transport (IIRT) at Mumbai, Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) at Pune and the Chartered Institute of Transport (CIT) at London. Importantly observations made during my visits of transport organizations in Europe, South and South-East Asia, Japan, China, Nepal and India. I visited almost all State Transport Undertakings (STUS) in India and some of them, especially in the hills, are found relevant to the transport system of our country because of identical geographical conditions. Over and above, my keen interest in the subject because of my long association with the above organization and institutes. The main purpose of bringing out this book is to record the facts of historical development ofroad transport industry in our country for the benefit of future generation as an authentic source reference. It is also expected to provide source background information on the subject to both the transport authority and individual private bus operators in the country. My attempt is to bring out another book on efficient and effective management of road passenger transport system Bhutan on the basis of my own experience of the management of transport system. No doubt, road transport is a fascinating subject because it plays vital role in the promotion of our economic, social civilization and culture. I hope that this book will generate sufficient stimulus among policy makersplanners, professionals and private individual bus operators to promote further studies which are essential for healthy development of an integrated transportation system on proper lines. Road transport plays a key role in the economic development of nation.
My colleagues in Indian Institute of Road Transport, Mumbai; Central Institute of Road Transport, Pune; the Chartered Institute of Transport London and BGTS have rendered their cooperation and assistance during my study and training. They also encouraged me to write a book of this kind for the benefit of my country men. While expressing my deep sense of gratitude to them all, I would, in particular, like to single out for mention Mr. N. Balkrishnan, Mr. C. D. Jaffereis, Dr. P. G. Patankar, Dr. A. V. Raman, Mr. V. G. Gurnani, Mr. G. K. Sathe, Mr. S. R. Tapade, Dr. M. G. Pathak and Capt. J. S. Walia.
I wish to make it clear that although I have had many years of practical experience with BGTS under Royal Government of Bhutan but any views or opinions expressed in this book are entirely my own and not necessarily those of BGTS.
Finally, I owe a debt of gratitude to His Excellency Dasho Leki Dorji, Deputy Minister of Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan who has shaped my thinking on the subject of road passenger transport industry and his contribution of a foreword enabled this book to see the light of day.
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