Transport Minister of Himachal G S Bali said that, Himachal Pradesh government is very serious about strengthening its public transport system and while doing so ,also to protect the environment of this hill state . Bali said, “Himachal Pradesh has been sanctioned 35 crore rupees by the central government to purchase 25 environment friendly electric buses. Himachal is the 1 st state in the country to get money from centre for this project.” Minister while interacting with media at Dharamshala on Saturday said that the tendering process for the purchase of these buses has been ordered and the purchase shall be over soon. He said that money has been sanctioned on 75:25 centre: state share, whereas the minister will meet his centre counterpart to convert the sanction to 90:10, as Himachal falls under special category state . Bali said ,” Foreign assembled, these buses shall estimated to cost around 1.75 core a piece , and shall need charging stations at every 75 kms.” He said that all the district Bus stands in state shall have charging stations. In reply to a question he said that the successful trials of electric bus has already been conducted at Shimla ,Nalagarh and Solan.
Bali also informed that 15 more Volvo buses are being included in the Himachal Road transport Corporation (HRTC) fleet. “Beside this HRTC is discarding its more than 10 years old 647 buses, and to fill the gap 300 new buses (including 150 small buses for difficult areas), shall be purchased. Its tender process shall start after ongoing panchayat elections in Himachal,”said Bali. He said that HRTC is connecting Shimla with all district head quarters with at least one AC bus service. Bali said, “18 Bus stands of the state shall start ATM service from 1st Feb2016.And all bus stands shall have CTV cameras and LED lights for the safety of the passengers.” Minister said that 24X7 passengers complaint system, which is already available for HRTC passengers shall be extended to private bus passengers from next month .