The bus fares in Himachal will be hiked by twenty five percent. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has today said that the proposal for increasing the bus fares will come up for the approval in the next cabinet meeting.
As per the new rates the fares in hilly areas of the state that is almost 80 per cent of the state’s total area will be increased by 18.50 paise per kilometer and 11.90 paise per kilometer in the plain areas.
The Chief Minster said that the fare hike should be seen in perspective of viability of running the public utility service, which has been badly hit due to hike in oil prices and several other inputs that shot up the cost of operation manifolds.
As per the draft proposal framed the fare in hilly areas will increase from the current 74 paise per kilometer to 92.50 paise per kilometer and in the plain areas will go up from 42.50 paise per kilometer to 59.40 paise per kilometer.
Will it not affect the poor people of the state badly, the CM said that the hike proposed by the government is much lesser than the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) had actually targeted. “The HRTC wanted to increase the bus fares by 90 per cent but keeping view the public interest we kept it to only 25 percent.”
The HRTC has payments of Rs. 90 crore pending and due to recurring losses, year after year it has not been able to pay to its employees overtime allowance and night allowance to bus drivers and conductors.