Shimla: Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu flagged off 15 electric buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation in Dharamshala on Wednesday.
He also inaugurated the Mcleodganj bus stand constructed at a cost of Rs 15 crore and performed Bhoomi Pujan of Dharamshala bus stand to be built at a cost of Rs 30 crore.
The Chief Minister and other dignitaries also traveled from Dharamshala to Mcleodganj in the new electric bus of HRTC.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that HRTC currently has 75 electric buses and 15 new electric buses have been added to the HRTC fleet at Dharamshala.
Apart from this, 20 new electric buses will be introduced soon in Shimla, which will take the total number of electric buses of HRTC to 110.
He said that tenders have already been floated for procuring 75 new electric buses and tenders for 25 additional electric buses would be invited in June.
He said that the state government aims to convert 1500 HRTC buses to electric buses in a phased manner as part of its long-term plan to adopt electric vehicles in public transport.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government has presented a green budget in this financial year and measures are being taken to encourage e-vehicles in the State for environment protection.
He said that infrastructure and charging stations are being set up for the operation of e-vehicles. 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 increase the operators’ income.
The initiative showcases the government’s efforts to encourage the use of environment-friendly transport and reduce carbon emissions in the state.
He said that Kangra district was being developed as the tourism capital of the State and in view of this about 3000 crore would be spent to develop the infrastructure.
The Chief Minister assured to get the survey done for the construction of the Mcleodganj-Bhagsu tunnel so that the traffic system in the area could be improved. The Chief Minister returned to Dharamshala from Mcleodganj by 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 would not only boost tourism but also provide more convenience to the local residents.
Agriculture Minister Chandra Kumar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Kishori Lal, MLAs Sudhir Sharma, Sanjay Ratna, Bhawani Singh Pathania, Kewal Singh Pathania, Malendra Rajan, Principal Advisor (IT and Innovation) Gokul Butail, Chairman Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Raghuveer were present on occasion. Singh Bali etc. were present.