Transport Minister G.S. Bali claimed that the strike of the Private Bus Operators on Monday failed to make impact in the State. Bali claimed that the strike was generally a failure in the State except in Shimla, Solan, Bilaspur and Sirmour districts, where commuters faced problem in rush hours only. Bali claimed that out of 3200 private fleet only 2000 were on strike.
G.S. Bali said that Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) provided extended bus services facility to the commuters. He thanked the employees of the Corporation for working overtime to provide bus services to the people of the State. Bali said that HRTC revenue increased by Rs. 32 lakhs yesterday.
Speaking to the press at Vidhan Sabha, Transport Minister GS Bali said that transport department is not against the demand of private bus operators and even ready to consider the genuine demands of bus operators, but strike is not the way to sort it out. He said that private bus operators were not making any representation and speaking through the media only.
Stung with the strike, Transport Minister hinted to rethink over the strategy of department to provide the transport facility to the commuters and to overcome the monopoly of private bus operators on many routes in state, Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has decided to increase its fleet and to start many new routes.
However, to overcome such happening in the near future, Bali announced to start as many as 50 new routes in the four districts alone. He said that HRTC would deploy additional fleet of 50 and announced to start 20 routes in Bilaspur, 10 each in Shimla, Solan and Sirmour district.
To facilitate the commuters of Shimla city, Bali announced to add 10 new buses in Shimla fleet that will ply clock and anti-clockwise in city with fix fare of Rs. 5. He also announced to introduce two AC buses in Shimla town with fixed fare of Rs. 20 per day and five new bus services on Shimla-Solan route on fixed fare of Rs. 40. He also announced to start two new AC deluxe buses between Shimla and Kalka matching with the departure and arrival time of Shatabadi Express.
Minister also announced to start 250 new routes in the interior areas for unemployed youth under Himachal Chief Minister Gramin Rojgar Yojana.
Minister declared immediate release of pending overtime payments of HRTC employees of last three months and clearance of pending medical bills up to March 2013, which is amounted to over 8 crore.