Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today flagged off 15 electric buses in Dharamshala. Apart from this, he inaugurated the McLeodganj Bus Stand constructed with an outlay of Rs. 15 crore. Besides, he also performed Bhoomi Poojan of Dharamshala Bus Stand to be built at a cost of Rs. 30 crore. The Chief Minister and other dignitaries travelled from Dharamshala to McLeodganj in one of the newly inducted electric buses.
He said that the newly inaugurated McLeodganj Bus Stand will play a vital role in enhancing facilities for tourists, offering modern amenities and parking for over 250 cars. The proposed Dharamshala Bus Stand is expected to be constructed promptly, further enhancing the transportation infrastructure of the area.
He said that Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) currently has 75 electric buses and 15 new electric buses have been inducted into HRTC fleet today. Additionally, soon 20 new electric buses will be started in Shimla, bringing the total electric bus fleet of HRTC to 110 buses. Tenders have already been issued to buy 75 new electric buses, and tenders for an additional 25 electric buses will be conducted in June, Sh. Sukhu said.
He said that the state government aims to switch over 1500 HRTC buses to electric buses in a phased manner, indicating a long-term plan for transitioning to electric vehicles in public transportation.The Chief Minister said that the state government has presented a green budget this time and has taken several measures to promote e-vehicles, in order to protect the environment of the state.
He said that basic infrastructure is being prepared for the operation of e-vehicles and charging stations are being set up. Along with this, a provision has also been made to give 50 percent subsidy on the purchase of e-bus, e-truck and e-taxi under the Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Scheme, which will enhance the income of the operators.
Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that these initiatives reflect the government's efforts to encourage the use of eco-friendly transportation and reduce carbon emissions in the state. By promoting electric vehicles and establishing supporting infrastructure, the state government aims to contribute to a cleaner and greener future for the state.
The Chief Minister emphasized the importance of green hydrogen as the future energy source and announced that Himachal Pradesh is set to pioneer the formulation of a policy on green hydrogen, making it the first state in the country to do so. Despite acknowledging the precarious economic condition of the state, the Chief Minister stressed the need for policy changes to accelerate development.
He said that within a span of four years, the state's economy would be revitalized and Himachal Pradesh would emerge as the most prosperous state in the nation in future. The Chief Minister assured to conduct a survey for the construction Mcleodganj-Bhagsu Tunnel to decongest the traffic in the area.
The Chief Minister returned back to Dharamshala from Mcleodganj using the ropeway.Earlier, while welcoming the Chief Minister, local MLA Sudhir Sharma expressed gratitude for starting the e-bus service. He said that the construction of new bus stands will not only boost tourism but also provide greater convenience for the local residents.
On this occasion, Agriculture Minister Chander Kumar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Kishori Lal, MLAs Sudhir Sharma, Sanjay Rattan, Bhawani Singh Pathania, Kewal Singh Pathania, Malendra Rajan, Principal Advisor (IT & Innovations) Gokul Butail, OSD to Chief Minister Ritesh Kapret, Vice Chairman Himachal Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation Vishal Chambiyal, Chairman Agriculture Development Bank Sanjay Chauhan, Mayor MC Dharmshala Onkar Nehria, treasurer HPCC Dr. Rajesh Sharma, MD HRTC Sandeep Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Nipun Jindal and other officers were also present amongst others.