Himachal govt mulls cut in minimum bus fare by ₹2 from New Year
In a bid to provide relief to the people, the Himachal Pradesh government is contemplating reducing the minimum bus fare by ₹2 from the existing ₹7 to ₹5.The bus fare may be reduced from New Year
In a bid to provide relief to the people, the Himachal Pradesh government is contemplating reducing the minimum bus fare by ₹2 from the existing ₹7 to ₹5.
The bus fare may be reduced from New Year. The state government has announced a slew of reliefs to the general public as well as employees since the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost byelections to the three assembly constituencies and one parliamentary seat.
The decision to cut the bus fare is also seen as a step to regain the favour of the public.
Transport minister Bikram Singh Thakur has directed the transport department to prepare a proposal to slash the bus fare.
The minister said the department was getting complaints that bus conductors sometimes charge ₹10 as minimum fair and don’t refund the remaining ₹3 citing lack of change or some other pretext.
“People had even complained about this on chief minister’s helpline number 1100,” he said, adding that reducing the minimum fair was the best solution to the problem.
He said a decision to cut the bus fare would be taken soon.
Bus fare hiked twice in past
It is worth mentioning that the present state government had hiked the bus fare twice in its four-year rule.
The first hike was done in September 2018 when the minimum fare was increased from ₹3 to ₹6 while the fare per kilometre was increased from 20 to 25 percent. However, after protests by the people, the minimum fare was reduced to ₹5 in October 2018.
The second hike was made during the Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020. Facing pressure from private transporters, the bus fare was increased by 25% per kilometre and the minimum fare was increased from ₹5 to ₹7. The government had cited the losses to the transport sector due to the pandemic while increasing the fare.
Buses are the only means of transportation in rural Himachal as the state lacks air and train connectivity in these areas.
The HRTC has 3,300 buses in its fleet while there are 3,100 private buses in the state.
At present, the fare of ordinary buses in Himachal is ₹1.40 per km in the plains and ₹2.19 in the hills.