Shimla Municipal Corporation's plan to ply golf carts on restricted roads of the hill state's capital has hit a road block as the Motor Vehicle Act does not consider golf cart a transport vehicle.
As such, the state government has now decided to run a taxi service for senior citizens, women and children below 10 years. The cab service will ferry commuters from the periphery of Shimla to market places, chief minister Virbhadra Singh said during the question hours of the state assembly on Wednesday.
Earlier, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma said the first Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) cab service was started in Shimla during the Congress rule in 2007 and later extended to 22 places in the town. However, the cab service was halted due to expiry of the contract in 2013. But the facility would soon be restored in Shimla after completion of formalities, he added.
In response, Bhardwaj said Shimla was the only purely urban assembly constituency in the state and people should be provided with the golf cart service.
Responding to another query about golf cart service, the chief minister said it could not be rolled out for the purpose of public transport. "Golf carts do not fall under Public Transport Act, therefore they cannot be permitted to be used for transport on restricted roads," he said.
Later, citing the special directions of Supreme Court, Sudhir Sharma informed the House that golf cart services were plying only at Agra to facilitate tourists.
However, Bhardwaj said the minister was citing the Supreme Court order as an excuse and depriving commuters from the transport service was great injustice to the people of this town.