Ignorance of HRTC


By:Dixit Suman


HRTC was the first state in North India and the one of the very few in India to introduce Volvo services from Delhi to Manali and Shimla which immediately gained popularity as many tourists opted for HRTC Volvo’s over private operators.

But now as it seems, HRTC has become money-minded and paying less attention (or negligible) to condition of luxury buses. Passengers of Hamirpur-Delhi & Shimla-Delhi (8:30 am & 9 pm) Volvo bus have been witnessing this for as long as 2 years.

In just six months the buses on Hamirpur-Delhi route have broke down as many as twelve times. In one of these incidents, the bus broke down near Bhota and it took two hours to re-start the bus but the bus again broke down near Bangana at twelve in the mid-night. Then an ordinary bus from Una depot was called and passengers reached Delhi at 10 am instead of 5 am. And just recently the bus broke down near Zirakpur in chilling weather and the passengers who had paid thousand rupees for a Volvo ticket, were made to travel in an ordinary, which reached Hamirpur at 11 am. The buses have non-working TV’s and charging ports non-reclining seats.

This old Volvo fleet of HRTC is at least seven years old and in some buses sheets of tin has replaced glasses. The worst part is while the private operators are plying buses which have TV’s for individual seats along with blankets and leg-rests for a fare less than HRTC but HRTC is plying these 7-year old Khatara’s which will breakdown anywhere between the journey.

On last Thursday, Delhi-Shimla Volvo (HP 63 2817) broke down near Delhi bye-pass while the staff was as helpless for passengers and tourists who were waiting in the cold night for another bus to come. From radiator bursting to engine failures, these buses have experienced it all. Safety was considered as the main aspect of HRTC but looking at the number of HRTC accidents this year, that aspect seems to have got lost.

When is the management going to wake up? Are they taking no action on the buses that are breaking down on one week after another?

If they can take buses on lease for all other routes why not for Delhi-Shimla and Delhi-Hamirpur route. Commuters on these routes have to shell out approximately thousand rupees for traveling in AC-Deluxe class and without a surety of reaching their destinations in time.

Leave the comfort, the behavior of staff members in these buses have now reached new heights. They seem to be doing favors for passengers by letting us travel in these vehicles, they think are owned by ‘them’. They play Punjabi/regional movies, which many cannot understand and refuse to distribute water bottles.

On being asked for a bottle, they will ask you to come and take from the front. Seat number three is always reserved for a conductor where he will sleep after removing his shoes and pulling on his blanket (Ref: Delhi-Dharamshala VOLVO, 23rd Sep. and Dharamshala-Delhi VOLVO, 26th Sep.)

Coming to Star buses, which were purchased after taking a loan of many crores what good is such a deal if it is costing lives of people. HRTC drivers are not skilled enough to drive these buses and there has been at-least fifty plus minor/major accidents involving Star buses causing deaths of hundreds of people while the HRTC managements has chosen to blame either the road conditions or fog for such misshapenness.

Even in terms of comfort, the seats are so hard & straight that it gives one good back pains even after three hours of journey. The AC and Deluxe buses that were purchased eight years ago are still plying on AC-Deluxe and Deluxe fares. (Delhi-Shimla AC 8:24 pm and Shimla-Dehradun. Shimla-Dharamshala Deluxe buses that do not even have a single feature to classify them as Deluxe).

Since HRTC is the sole mode of passenger transport, they know well how to cash the helplessness of people. Comfort, Safety and now Staff behavior- HRTC has now lost it all.

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  1. Such was the situation on Shimla – Delhi and Dharamshala – Delhi routes as well. Just 2 years back new buses came in . It seems the old ones are being run on the other routes.

    I remember traveling once in an HRTC Tata AC bus which was dripping with rain water. It was as good as a Chinese torture.

    The other issue is a places where these buses stop. Specially Dhaliara at 5 in the morning. There are no toilets and the place is piss cold. Why can’t the Volvos stop at some HPTDC hotel or a government rest house ? Even these departments can have some extra income.

    • I also feel so pathetic about the HRTC services. Most of the buses were very old. I was happy when years back, VOLVO buses arrived in Himachal. But see the condition of those buses now!!! Very funny thing is about Deluxe buses. They are even overtaken by all the ordinary buses and there is no point in running such a foolish thing, paying extra charge. The case of star buses are dangerous. It proved a 100 times, not suiting for our roads. I doubt whether there is any tie up between politicians and the TATA company for any mutual benefit. At least I wish to travel in a non-smelly AC bus. I am not bothering about TV, as its a bigger luxury as per our present standard situation!! Inter state buses stops in places where, we may be stranded to alien attack!! Why can’t they stop in some Govt rest house or Hotels under tourism department.!!! See and study from other states proving better transportation. Jaago Himacal!!!

  2. I agree with the all the points mentioned by Dixit Suman. The so-called deluxe route “Dharamshala-Shimla”, is one of the most disgusting buses on the history of hrtc. The bus makes all kind of noises while moving, sockets do not work, conductors do not behave properly (They even don’t know that Smat card can be applied in these buses.), condition of the seats cannot be described.
    The transport minister is himself responsible for these acts as he is busy in plying routes from Nagrota Bagwan, as it is his constituency. No other route bothers him.
    If any private bus operator is reading this comment, I urge you to apply for a license to ply a deluxe/volvo for Dharamshala-Shimla route.

  3. Dixit, you well said about the issue. I am also thinking the same about this often breaking down buses of HRTC. Himachal Pradesh is one among the few states in India having inter state volvo service.I appreciate that gesture of the government, but its lacking maintenance and also making the journeys a real torture. Especially, Shimla-Delhi, Dharmashala- Delhi, are declining in quality like hell. As Mr. Varun Rattan Singh commented, why can’t they stop long route buses in some better places with at least some basic facilities.!!?? See Himachal is a place, were people from all over India come to spend their sweet honey moons and family yearly trips. So some basic sense and decency should be kept in determining the halt stops.Govt rest houses and HPTDC hotels can be a better option. I request the government to do something seriously as you are investing a lot of money in the transportation sector. But please plan it and do it systematically to assure a peaceful journey.

  4. There is no point in blaming the PWD for the road conditions, for your ignorence, HRTC!!. The buses are not getting maintained for a long time. I loved the news of the arrival of VOLVO buses to Himachal years ago. But see, the condition of most buses now!!! 🙁 Break downs here and there and forced to travel in cheap ordinary buses,even without getting a refunding. Its absolute cheating and indifference from authority to improve the situation.Please provide some better seats and phone charging facilities in long route HRTC . I am forgetting the TVs as I am not much interested in luxury. But children gets irritated and bored during long journeys. I wish, young politicians like Anurag Thakur to come forward and to extend their involvement in such a relevant issue.

  5. Stop buying STAR buses any more. How many lifes are gone yet!!!! Wake up, HRTC. I even participated in a candle light march organised by a group of people from HRTC Facebook page, to mourn the death of people died in HRTC accidents. Most of those accidents occurred due to this STAR buses of TATA. I wonder is there any tie up between the politicians and this International- Indian company in some mutually beneficial business. These buses proved a hundred times, not at all suiting to our terrain and roads. And condition of Deluxe buses are pathetic. Please see the standard of Deluxe buses of other state!!! We all get into such, “Deluxe” named buses in hope of reaching places on time. But with many experiences, I understood the names given to buses won’t matter. Most are the same in different names with different ticket rates. Please see this Veera Bhadra Singhji.!!

  6. You told the right thing. I am so worried about these issues of HRTC for long. Hope this post will be seen by some people in power and to think of doing some betterment. All the best, Dixit.

  7. Star buses are a real threat to our roads. How many lives are lost .?? I also think there is some petty coat influence in the politics to purchase such buses for the mutual benefits of some petty politicians. Jaago log!!! We cannot spare any more lives as such buses are not good for our land feature. Also the pathetic condition of Deluxe buses.!!! I am fed up of you, HRTC..Please do some thing, dear people..in power.

  8. same situation is with Delhi chamba routes first thing was that very few bus only two and out of which one is deluxe and one is ordinary and distance is from chamba to Delhi is 591 km and there is no Volvo bus at all

  9. Being, the mother of two small children, of 5 and 8 years, I avoid maximum of travelling. But the early trips to visit my sasural at Hamirpur, has now become a nightmare for me and family. Last trip I got a rude behaviour from a Volvo conductor for asking a bottle of water. He behaves, as if due to his mercy, I could travel by the bus. Unsafe and stiff seats and caused severe back pain. I don’t know , where to complain for this. Can you please suggest.?

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