HRTC proposes hike in passenger fares

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Shimla, Feb 17 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Government today proposed a hike of 18.50 paise per km in hilly areas and 11.90 paise per km in plain areas in its buses to improve financial position of the corporation and provide better transport facilities in the state.

The proposal to increase the fare was discussed with officials of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses and Transport Department, following a hike of Re one in the prices of diesel on Thursday, state Transport Minister Kishan Kapoor said in a release here.

He said a hike of 18.50 paise per km in hilly areas and 11.90 paise per km in plain areas in its buses would help in improve financial position of the corporation and provide better transport facilities in the state.

Referring to the Rs 90 crore liability of the corporation, he said it was in a mess ever since the UPA Government came to power in the centre, following which diesel prices have increased by 47 per cent, spare parts by 78 per cent and prices of tyres and tubes by 50 per cent.

Mr Kapoor said, similarly, the prices of lubricants have grown by 110 per cent and expenditure on body building of the buses due to increase in the prices of steel by 25 per cent.

The corporation's financial position has come to such a mess that the salaries of the employees, amounting to Rs 38.96 crore, were also being disbursed out of the GPF, he said.

He said besides HRTC has also failed to deposit an outstanding interest amount of Rs 11.38 crore on account of GPF.

Out of Rs 30 crore cash credit sanctioned by the previous Congress Government to the Corporation, it had already availed credit of Rs 27.61 crore, he said and added that it also had liabilities of Rs 10.13 crore to various companies on account of purchases by stores.

The Minister said the corporation also owed a sum of Rs 9.45 lakh as Special Road Tax to the Transport Corporation, besides Rs 2.97 crore as night overtime allowance to its drivers and conductors.

In view of this precarious situation the state government was not left with any option but to hike passengers fares in its HRTC buses, he added.

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