Giving major relief to private bus operators Himachal Pradesh High Court has asked Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation to withdraw low fare bus services. HRTC has been asked to uphold notification issued on September 30, 2013 to fix the fare of buses.
Giving decision over writ petition filed by private transporters Division bench of High Court under Mr. Justice Rajiv Sharma and Mr. Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan on May 28, 2015(copy of which was supplied to media) said that HRTC could not fix lower fare arbitrarily than what has been fixed vide notification dated September 30, 2013.
After inviting the private players to compete and operate, the HRTC cannot indulge in unfair practice by introducing these promotional fares. This has not only introduced unhealthy competition but has the effect of virtually eliminating the private operators. All the buses procured under JnNURM are new buses and with concessional fares, it is but obvious that majority of passengers would board these buses, whereas the private operators would be left high and dry.
The court has asked HRTC to draw up timetable of JnNURM buses in such a manner that equal distribution of passengers could be ensured and private bus operators also get their fair share of business. Accepting the contention of the petitioners the court said that respondents owe a duty to ensure that there is no unhealthy competition. After getting number of JnNURM buses HRTC has now decided to add them in its fleet introducing number of low fare services for the daily commuters.