H.P Govt’s electric solution: E-Buses to reduce HRTC operational losses
Shimla, May 18
Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), currently facing book value losses of approximately Rs 1250 Crore, has decided to switch to electric buses as part of the State Government’s efforts to bring about reforms and curb financial losses.
During a Corporation review meeting, Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu emphasized the need for HRTC to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in order to mitigate book value losses. To achieve this, the Government has decided to procure 75 Type-1 e-buses, aiming to make HRTC self-reliant and provide improved financial resources. This move will also help assuring timely payment of salaries and pensions to HRTC employees and pensioners.
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri stated that all unprofitable bus routes will be shut down, and drivers and conductors who are familiar with the reasons behind the losses will be involved in increasing revenue on each route. He said that the Government aims to hold the management accountable to alleviate the challenges posed by private bus operators in HRTC services, who often engage in cutthroat competition.
A committee has been established to reduce losses and increase the income of HRTC buses. As part of the reform process, the State Government plans to recruit drivers and conductors to fill vacant positions in HRTC, aiming to enhance efficiency and provide better services to the people of the state.
The Chief Minister highlighted that HRTC is gradually transitioning from diesel buses to electric buses, with the current fleet already including 95 electric buses. The number of e-buses will be further increased in the near future. The Government has already issued tenders for the purchase of 75 Type-1 e-buses, and the letter of award (LOA) is expected to be issued next month. Routes for these e-buses have been identified, and efforts are underway to develop the necessary infrastructure, including charging stations. Additionally, HRTC has identified routes to replace 225 diesel buses with Type-2 e-buses, he added.
Sukhu stated that the State Government presented a green budget and is committed to transform Himachal Pradesh into a green energy state by March 31, 2026. The State aims to become a model for e-vehicles and has initiated the establishment of six green corridors. Encouraging the use of e-vehicles is part of the government’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions.
The meeting also reviewed the construction of the proposed bus port in Hamirpur. The Chief Minister announced that the Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority (HPBSMDA) will construct it within the next two years. Additionally, land has been identified for the construction of an e-bus depot in Nadaun, Hamirpur district.
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri expressed support for the reform efforts and emphasized HRTC’s commitment to fulfilling its social responsibilities
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