Shimla: There would be no bus fare hike in Himahcal, despite prices of diesel having been increased, said Mohinder Singh Thakur, the new transport minister here today.
Interacting with the media for the first time after being inducted into the cabinet, last week, he said that the upcoming new inter-state bus terminus in the capital is expected to become operational by April and to improve public transport services, a fleet of 75 new buses would be added to Himachal roadways (HRTC) city service, Mohinder Singh, the transport minister disclosed.
“Under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, 75 new buses are being added for improving public transport system in the capital,â€ he said.
The new ISBT at Tutikandi would in all likelihood be commissioned by next April.
â€œWhile the new ISBT was being constructed on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, but the government would adopt a mixed policy whereby some bus stations would be handed out on BOT basis but others would be constructed and operated by the department,â€ he added
For keeping the about 1900 routes in the state operational, another 300 more buses would be added to HRTC fleet so as to provide public transport services in rural and far flung areas, said Mohinder.
Plagued with high vehicular accident causalities, the transport minister said to check frequent bus accidents, transport officials had identified 536 black spots across the vast road network where bus accidents were occur repeatedly.
Public works department (PWD) has been asked to make improvements to road designs in these sensitive spots, he said.
The state transporter would be recruiting about 600 new drivers and 500 conductors for filling up existing vacancies. The transport corporation would clear overtime work arrears of employees in a phased manner and Rs 1.2 crore was being released immediately, he said.
Body building operations of buses would now be undertaken at HRTC workshops in Mandi and Parwanoo.
Unlike his predecessor, the new minister refused to have his mobile number prominently displayed on HRTC buses but numbers of the concerned divisional and regional managers would be inscribed on the buses for ready redressal of passenger grievances, said Mohinder.