Shimla, Jul 14
When around 1400 HRTC buses are already parked idle on roads, the corporation in its developmental/ growth plans has decided to purchase another 205 new buses, seems very contradicting. An aware citizen A Rohal questioned the Jai Ram Thakur Government in a social media post today stating that why is it going to buy another 205 new buses for HRTC when the corporation is running in red and unable to pay the salaries to its employees in time.
Rohal pointed that HRTC currently has jumbo fleet of around 3100 buses out of which 1400 are parked beside roads biting dusts turning white elephant on the cost of public exchequer. The Govt is hiding the fact under the garb of Covid lock down to not ply service on all routes, he added. Rohal said that 350 new HRTC buses are standing on the road for last four years.
While on the same social media former Transport minister GS Bali defending stated that during his tenure as minister blue buses were added to HRTC fleet under JNNURM.
He said that these buses were to support the transport facility of people in the urban areas however he converted these JNNURM buses to help people coming from villages to Shimla city and other clusters towns. 800 buses were introduced in the state. He said that 120 buses were also bought during Cong rule between 20-12 to 2017 for the people living in higher areas. Himachal became first state in the country to run first Electric bus commissioned to Rohtang Pass. Former Minister claimed that he added 1800 new buses increasing the total fleet upto 3150.
He also claimed that 3000 conductors were also recruited but due to Opposition/ scuttle the process went to the court Though the Cong Govt got a clean chit from the court however this delay resulted in idle parking of number of buses without routes. However now this government should have ended the shortage of staff to should run the idle fleet on the road, he stated.
Other citizens state that the state Government is taking alibi of Covid pandemic while incurring massive losses to the already running red book. “HRTC is expected to run all routes which have been closed owing to various reasons,” they added.
“When it has massive fleet parked idle on the roads, wisdom should prevail before deciding to buy new buses,” stated another regular commuter Mohan .