Himachal resumes interstate bus service after 7 months
The service have been resumed on 25 routes that mainly include Chandigarh, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Ambala among others in the first phase.Updated: Oct 14, 2020, 20:52 IST
Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) on Wednesday resumed its interstate bus service after a gap of about seven months.
The decision to resume bus services to the neighbouring states was taken in view of the upcoming festival season as well as demand from the common masses.
Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown had put brakes on interstate transport in March.
The service have been resumed on 25 routes that mainly include Chandigarh, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Ambala among others in the first phase.
Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT) Shimla in-charge Rama Nand Thakur said as many as six buses have been sent to Chandigarh from Shimla which were filled up to permitted capacity.
“All the buses were sanitised, passengers were asked to wear masks properly and also follow the guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” he said adding that service on more routes will be restarted soon.
Meanwhile, buses to Chandigarh were also resumed from Dharamshala ISBT.
HRTC regional manager for Dharamshala zone, Pankaj Chadha said the resumption of buses will provide much-needed relief to the commuters, especially from border areas, who travel to the other states daily.
He said the HRTC-approved eateries where the buses services halt for meals have been directed to maintain hygiene and ensure social distancing. “They have also been asked to keep liquid soap or sanitisers at the entrance,” he said adding that the HRTC authorities will carry out surprise checks to ensure that the eateries comply with the directions.
In Una, three interstate buses to Chandigarh were resumed. A passenger, Amit Kumar, who was travelling to Pinjore from Una said earlier he had to reach his destination via Bilaspur which would take at least five hours.
“Resumption of interstate bus services will save both time and money,” he said.
Wait for rail service
Trains services will not be started on the world heritage Kalka-Shimla track from October 15, however, the railway authorities do intend to resume the same very soon, officials said on Wednesday.
Shimla railway station superintendent Prince Sethi said that the rail services on the Kalka-Shimla railway track will be started as soon as they are notified by the Railway. “We are well-prepared and ready to start the rail operations and are waiting for the notification,” Sethi said.
The railway services were halted earlier this year due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in March.