Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has decided to increase its fleet in the state soon to overcome and relieve people of Shimla, Solan, Sirmour and Bilaspur district from the monopoly of private bus operators who caused trouble to public after resorting strike on allotted route. This was stated by Transport Minister G.S. Bali who was addressing media persons in the assembly complex yesterday.
As many as 50 routes have been identified which were affected significantly by the call of private operators strike. He said that he would deploy additional fleet of 50 HRTC services soon including 20 routes in Bilaspur, 10 each in Shimla, Solan and Sirmour district.
He announced that two new AC Volvo buses would be started between Shimla and Kalka matching with the departure and arrival time of Shatabadi Express.Five new services on Shimla-Solan route on fixed fare of Rs. 40, ten services in the capital town on uniform fare of Rs. 5 will run clockwise and anti-clockwise on the cart road and two luxury buses will be deployed in the town on the fixed fare of Rs. 20 per day and monthly pass of Rs 400.
Appreciating the extra efforts by HRTC staff to meet with the situation of private bus strike, Minister declared immediate release of pending overtime pay of 8700 HRTC employees of last three months and clearance of pending medical bills up to March 2013. This would create a burden of Rs. 7 to 8 crores on HRTC ex-checker.
“HRTC revenue had a quantum jump yesterday by Rs. 32 lakhs.” Mr. Bali said claiming that out of 3200 private fleet only 2000 were on strike yesterday which affected the life in state.
Strike did not at all affect the life in Chamba, Kangra and Kullu district as operators did not join the call of strike. He said that more than 200 private routes remained normally off in the state.
Mr.Bali said , ” I am not against the demand of private bus operators as they could be considered but strike is not the way to sort out this as media statement of protesting private buses operators also threatened to go on strike again after few days.”
Minister also said that 250 new routes would be opened in the interior areas for unemployed youth and war widow under Himachal Chief Minister Gramin Rojgar Yojana.