In a state like Himachal Pradesh where geographical impediments often stall the pace of development, means of transport play a very crucial role in percolating benefits of welfare schemes and programmes even to the remotest corner of the State besides helping in making essential commodities available to all. Road transport is the only mean of connecting people in the State and Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) is doing a Yeoman’s service by providing best of the services to the people through its dedicated employees and fleet of buses.
The State Road Transport Corporation with its fleet of about 2200 buses is covering the distances both inside and outside the State. It has already acquired 500 new buses so as to strengthen its fleet in order to provide better services to the people thereby fulfilling its social obligations and responsibility. As many as 800 more buses have also been sanctioned for the State under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and it has received 91 crore for the purpose as first instalment.
It has started numerous schemes for its daily commuters. With the arrival of new fleet of buses, corporation has introduced Reduced Bus fare Service between Shimla-Solan, Kullu-Mandi, Kullu-Manali, Jogindernagar-Mandi, Nalagarh-Baddi-Barotiwala and in Dharamshala, Una and Sundernagar regions. Corporation is revamping its luxury services and is in the process of starting new luxury services to different locations. For the first time, corporation has introduced Volvo bus service between Shimla-Dharamshala and Shimla-Manali along with service to Delhi from different locations in the State and would soon be launching a new Volvo service between Mcloadganj- Chandigarh. At present Corporation has 27 Volvo, 04 ISUZU, 31 Super Luxury, 32 AC Deluxe and 40 deluxe buses. It would soon be introducing 13 more Volvo buses so as to provide best services to commuters.
The corporation is also upgrading its 27 workshops. It is adding latest machinery and equipments to these thereby helping in keeping its fleet in best of the condition. Rs. 70 crore is being spent on modernising these workshops.
Along with modernisation, concerted efforts have also been made to acquire sufficient quantity of genuine spare parts. Corporation is purchasing 100 percent spare parts from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) thereby ensuring optimum quality. There is no dearth of spare parts in the corporation now.
It has already filled up 375 posts of drivers and 200 posts of conductors in last one and half years and process has been initiated for filling up 600 posts of conductors, 300 posts of drivers and 150 posts of mechanical staff.
Along with fulfilling its social obligations, Corporation is also maintaining cordial relations with its employees. It has already provided Rs. 100 crore as dues to its employees and has assured them that their genuine demands would be fulfilled on priority. Corporation is also improving working conditions for its staff and restrooms in all bus stands are being repaired, upgraded and renovated. It has already resolved to provide overtime to drivers and conductors on more than 8 hours of duty.
A decision has been taken to construct state of the art driver rest rooms at identified places for bus, truck and other drivers in public-private partnership. To start with these rest rooms would be constructed at suitable places on National Highway between Mandi and Manali, at appropriate location in Kangra district and at a suitable location on Shimla-Chandigarh National Highway.
With the consistent efforts of all the stakeholders of the corporation, its profit has increased by 2860.85 lakhs from April 2014 to June, 2014.
HRTC has also decided to provide the viable transport system in water bodies of the state. It would soon start Water Ferry Service in Maharana Partap Sagar dam reservoir, Gobindsagar reservoir, Chamera reservoir etc. The corporation is in the process of identifying routes for the purpose and would also grant license for these routes. A Quality Water Transport Project would soon be submitted to the Central Government for approval.
The Government is committed to reach to the farthest and remotest corner of the State to facilitate the people to avail benefit of corporation buses and other services, besides providing qualitative, timely and better services throughout the State.