In the wake of violent Jat quota stir in different parts of Haryana, commuters going towards Chandigarh were a hassled lot as Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) on Sunday suspended bus services beyond Parwanoo.
On Saturday, the HRTC had suspended all 125 bus services to Delhi and private buses and taxi operators were not ready to enter Haryana. The bus services on Shimla-Chandigarh route beyond Parwanoo were suspended after reports of protests by Jats near Panchkula.
“Buses are going till Parwanoo only. Services till Chandigarh at least will be resumed once we receive favourable reports from there,” HRTC executive director RK Gautam told HT.
An official said some buses were routed via Baddi to Chandigarh. “Regional manager and traffic inspector of HRTC at Baddi have been directed to route buses to Chandigarh via Baddi,” an official added. He also said even Haryana roadways buses coming from Shimla side were plying till Parwanoo.
Jat quota stir has already proved detrimental for the tourism industry as a large number of tourists from New Delhi and other places have cancelled their bookings. Tour and travel agents have also confirmed spurt in booking cancellations owing to the stir.
Those who were to reach Delhi due to an emergency are forced to go via Haridwar. “I had booked HRTC Volvo ticket for Saturday, but services were suspended. Now, I am coming via Haridwar and it will take around three-four extra hours to reach Shimla,” Ajay Sharma, a Shimla resident said. All the trains coming from New Delhi to Chandigarh and Kalka have been cancelled and prices of airfare have shot up manifolds.
HRTC executive director RK Gautam said about 100 bus services to Chandigarh via Panchkula were suspended on Sunday. He said on Saturday HRTC suffered a loss of `70 crore and suspending services to Chandigarh would lead to daily loss of `1crore.
At the Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT), Shimla, a large number of passengers were stranded. “I am waiting here since morning and the HRTC staff is saying that buses will go only till Parwanoo,” Ram Rattan Sharma, a Sonepat resident, said.