• Himachal Pradesh to start battery-operated electric buses

    Himachal Pradesh is set to start plying battery-operated electric buses on the Manali-Rohtang route.

    “We have conducted successful trials and negotiations are on with some companies for acquiring 50 big and 25 small buses. The bigger buses would be funded to the tune of 90 per cent by the central government while small buses would entail 75 per cent central subsidy,” Transport minister G S Bali said.

    The state government has urged the Centre to provide subsidy for purchasing 90 buses, he added.

    Bali, who is also chairman of group of ministers (GOM) for road safety in Hill areas constituted by the Union government, said the GOM would submit its report in next nine-ten months.

    The transport ministers of Hill states, including the Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand and Goa, who also hold the charge of transport, are members of the committee.

    Bali said the state government is going to be tough with operators plying Volvo buses in Himachal on regular basis and said stringent action, including impounding of the buses, would be taken against those plying illegally in the state.

    The Volvo buses are allowed in the state with special permission to bring tourist groups, marriage parties and other tours but they are not permitted to ply regular bus services and issue tickets online to passengers, he added.

    Bali informed about a Rs 16 crore hike in the revenue of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) with the amount increasing to Rs 216 crore from Rs 210 crore during the last six months. Thomas Morstead Jersey

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