There’s good news for tourists visiting Shimla, who have a harrowing time juggling fares with taxi drivers. The state government has announced to introduce meters for the cabs in the state. Also, the government would be adding 10 more Volvo buses to the HRTC (Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation) fleet.
HRTC already has 12 Volvo buses plying on the Shimla-Delhi, Manali-Delhi, Dharamshala-Delhi routes. The corporation has reportedly earned a revenue of about Rs 2.28 crore from the Volvo bus service. A decision has also been taken to add about 300 ordinary buses every year, while the old buses are phased out.
The introduction of Volvo buses, while has shortened travel time from Shimla to Delhi from nine to seven hours, the journey, as travellers feel is done having a torrid time, as a Regional Manager of an insurance company experienced lately.
Jayant Doeger, Regional Manager (Gujarat region), ICICI Prudential, who was on his way from his home-town Shimla to Delhi, says, “It was a tough journey from Shimla to Parwanoo, as the driver drove too fast. I and my wife and my 13-month old baby, all suffered from mountain sickness. Besides there was the fear of meeting an accident. We were at Himachal Bhawan in seven hours, in spite of the half hour stoppage time enroute”
According to Doeger, the driver paid no heed to the requests made by him and other passengers to slow down. Doeger travelled on October 28, in the HRTC Volvo bus that departs from Shimla at 10:15 pm.
Reacting to the government’s decision to introduce taxi-meters in the state, Doeger felt that the decision would bring in transparency and would benefit the tourists and commuters a lot.
Another news that comes as a cheer for the commuters is the government decision to allow private bus operators to issue seasonal concessional passes to the students and other eligible categories for which a suitable mechanism would be evolved and operators compensated reasonably. There is also a proposal to set up flying squads to check private buses, whereby the squad would be empowered to check the private buses, and passengers without ticket fined on the spot.
According to a government release, the transport department is hoping to generate employment avenue to 16,935 persons by providing them route permits for different types of vehicles and allied services.