Himachal Rains: HRTC Sustained Loss of More Than 50 Crores

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Mukesh Agnihotri, the Deputy Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, revealed that the HRTC sustained loss of more than 50 crores due to floods triggered by incessant rains.

Himachal Rains: HRTC Sustained Loss of More Than 50 Crores
An HRTC bus from the Sundernagar unit traveling to Shimla met with an accident due to road damage in Mandi district on August 11, 2023.

Deputy Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mukesh Agnihotri revealed that the Himachal Pradesh Road and Transport Corporation (HRTC) has suffered over Rs 50 crore loss due to floods triggered by incessant rains.

The Deputy Chief Minister was addressing the media in Shimla where he said that these losses also include the Rs 30 crore operational loss to the state.

“So far operational losses have been assessed a total of Rs 30 cr, and a total loss of Rs 50 cr damages have been estimated to HRTC due to the flood in the state,” Mukesh Agnihotri said.

He also urged tourists to visit the state as things are finally getting back to normal in Himachal Pradesh.

Mukesh Agnihotri, who is holding the portfolios of Jal Shakti, Language art and Culture and Transport Minister of the state, also said that efforts are being made to undertake reforms in the state.

“We shall focus on the newly developed system like the E-Auction system. We have been able to earn 6 crore rupees from the sale of 1585 numbers to the vehicles. Numbers were sold from Rs 7 to Rs 30 Lakh. This helped us generate some revenue,” Mukhesh added.

“We are developing an Automatic Number Plate Reading system, data and detail of the vehicles in the state will be accessed after crossing 12 barriers of the transport department. We have developed online methods to make new licenses. We have also authorized all RTOs to issue International Driving Licence All SDMs would also be authorized as RLA to issue such license,” he added.

Agnihotri added that challaning officers will have to wear a body-worn camera to keep transparency in the system.

“We shall not challan the vehicles transporting labor to the Transport Industry in the region. A middle way will be found to resolve the issue after discussing and meeting with the stakeholders. We shall fix up rates for those buses too,” the Deputy Chief Minister added.

He said HRTC has come out from a different phase after the floods.

Currently equipped with a fleet of 3200 buses, HRTC is functioning on 3800 routes.

“At least 42 new bus services and 62 new routes have also been issued. HRTC has purchased 256 new buses including 35 Electrical buses. Road safety is going to be the priority of the transport department. 135 colleges will be paid Rs 30,000 each, and 1,895 senior secondary schools will be paid Rs 10,000 each for road safety,” Agnihotri said.

According to him, an additional amount of 9 crore rupees has been issued to PWD to correct the Black spots and road safety,” Agnihotri said.

He said that the state government is also revamping the temples for Sugam darshan in Chintpurni, so that pilgrims can get the best facilities and the temple can generate additional revenue.

“For Sugam Darshan in the temple at Chintpurni, we have started a payment system of Rs 1,100 rupees to be paid for darshan. HRTC will start a temple circuits route in the state soon,” Agnihotri said further.

HRTC sustained loss of more than 50 crores due to floods triggered by incessant rains. Picture of HRTC bus in Dharamshala.
A HRTC bus in Kullu. PC: Wiki Commons.

Himachal Rains: The Loss Sustained as of September 2023

Monsoon had set in on Himachal Pradesh on June 24. Since the onset of the monsoon, as per data available from the State Disaster Management Authority, there has been a loss estimated at Rs 8676.79 crores in Himachal Pradesh.

So far 408 people have died in the monsoon due to various reasons. Of these, 144 people have lost their lives due to landslides and flash floods.

About 264 people have lost their lives due to road accidents or other reasons. In Himachal Pradesh, 38 people are missing and 381 people are injured.

So far 2,558 houses have been damaged completely while 10,891 houses have been partially damaged. 3

The 2023 Himachal rains have so far witnessed 164 landslides and 72 flash flood incidents in the state. Life is slowly coming back on track in Himachal Pradesh. But still, nearly 74 roads are closed in the state. 47 electricity supply schemes are still Hampered and 12 water supply schemes are still disrupted.

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