THE INTER-STATE ‘Reciprocal Transport Agreement’ was signed between the government of Himachal Pradesh and the Punjab, in Chandigarh on Friday. According to the new agreement, Himachal Pradesh would operate buses in Punjab covering 60, 390.5 km against 48,836 km by Punjab in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal additional chief secretary Avay Shukla and Punjab principal secretary D S Jaspal signed the agreement.
Earlier, Punjab could operate buses in 40,626 km in Himachal Pradesh against 43,901 km by Himachal Pradesh buses in Punjab.
The Punjab government is going to tax 5 paise per km per seat each day on Himachal Pradesh buses, whereas it would have to pay 6 paise per km per seat each day to Himachal Pradesh. Speaking to ET, Mr Jaspal said the new agreement was going to bring a relief to private transporters as routes have been specified and a better service will be provided. “Passengers from Punjab will get direct express service, as we are going to introduce new buses, which will cover an additional 8,000 km in Himachal Pardesh,” he said.
The new agreement would enable Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HSTRC) to introduce new bus services covering an additional 18,830 km in Punjab. “We will start new bus services to Katra, Delhi, Jammu and Amritsar from important places in Himachal Pradesh,” said Mr Shukla while adding that the aim of the agreement was to encourage long distance inter-state transport of passengers and goods between the two states and to regulate, coordinate and control their operations. The additional chief secretary said that Himachal Pradesh has already signed the transport agreements with Rajasthan and Uttarakhand and is looking to signing agreements with Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other states in a phased manner
Similarly, Punjab Transport Corporation is in the final stage of signing agreements with Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Agreements with Haryana and Rajasthan are in the prelimary stage, though Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir are key priorities for the state.
According to the detailed agreement, Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS will cover 33,052 km in Himachal Pradesh where as PRTC will cover 12,530 km. Punjab private operators cover 1,557 km and corridor portion by private operators would be 1,697 km.
Also, HSTRC will cover 57031 km in Punjab, whereas private operators will cover 952 km. The corridor portion covered by the private operators of Himachal Pradesh would be 2407.5 km