Shimla, July 20
Himachal Pradesh Council of ministers gave nod to hike the bus fare by 25 percent despite strong opposition by the people and political party in the state.
A government spokesman said in a press statement that Cabinet decided to increase the bus fare in the sBus fare hiked by 25 tate keeping the fund crunch due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The fare would be Rs. 7 for first three kilometers instead of Rs. 5. There would be increase of 25 percent inthe present per kilometer tariffs for all travel beyond three kilometers for hilly and plain areas.
The decisions of the Government likely to burden the people as the road is only means of transportation in the state.
In another decision CoMs decided to withdraw the facility of free travel to Members of Parliament and MLAs in HRTC buses within and outside the State. However this facility would continue for all former MLAs and MPs.
The move by the government is just a cosmetic step as most of MLAs and MPs are rarely travel in the HRTC Bus having their own luxurious vehicles.
It is worthwhile to mention here that it is the second hike by the Jai Ram Government in the last two years as bus fares had increased to 24.44 per cent on September 24, 2018.
At present, the fare of ordinary buses in Himachal is Rs 1.12 per km in the plains and Rs 1.75 in the hills.
Similarly, the fare of deluxe buses is Rs 1.37 per km in the plains and Rs 2.17 per km in the hills.
For Volvo and air-conditioned buses, the fare is Rs 2.74 per km in the plains and Rs 3.62 in the hills.
The minimum bus fare is Rs five.
The HRTC has 3,300 buses in its fleet while there are 3,100 private buses in the state. At present, only 800 buses are operational.
Congress President Kuldeep Singh Rathore in a press statement issued after the CoMs decisions said that it is antipeople move of Jai Ram Government. He said that party already demanded to withdraw the hike failing which the protest would be launched in the state .