Himachal Roadways Connects Leh With Delhi and Mints Money


SRINAGAR: The 33 hours bus journey from Delhi to Leh via Keylong for Rs 1,657 per person has turned out to be a money spinner for the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC), which is earning about Rs 1.23 lakh per day from this bus service alone.

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The HRTC started a 37-seater Delhi-Keylong-Leh bus service without a night halt at Keylong on Saturday and the response is overwhelming as the journey is economical and time saving, officials said.

“Earlier, the bus used to stop at Keylong in Tribal Lahaul and Spiti district for night halt which increased the time span of the journey and expenditure of the passengers and during route analysis we found that night halt was an issue which led to low occupancy,” HRTC Managing Director Rohan Chand Thakur told PTI on Tuesday.

“The HRTC has now skipped the night halt and the passengers reach Leh from Delhi in 33 hours, saving one day and the drivers would be changed at Keylong and Bilaspur,” he added.

Thakur said the total distance from Delhi to Leh via Chandigarh- Mandi- Manali -Keylong has been reduced by 74 km to 981 km after construction of the Atal Tunnel.

The fare is nominal Rs 1,657 per head which is quite low as compared to the taxi and air fares that run into thousands, he added. The service would be on a regular basis and one bus would ply from Delhi to Leh and other from Leh to Delhi and the HRTC would earn about Rs 1.23 lakh daily.

Debu, a resident of Manali, said that besides tourists, the bus service has brought smiles to the army personnel, labourers and small businessmen (mainly poor and middle class).

This initiative would further boost tourism in Kullu and Lahaul and Spiti districts, he added.

Expressing their gratitude through a letter to the MD of HRTC, as many as 14 passengers, including Rakesh Singh, Sunil Kumar, Chandan, Ashish, Uttam Singh and others, said that this bus service has saved their money and time. The annual revenue and government grant (free travel and running buses on non economical routes) of the HRTC is Rs 1,600 crore against the expenditure of Rs 1,840 crores. The HRTC has a fleet of 3,142 buses.

“We have also received a request from the Kargil administration to run a bus service from Manali to Padum via Darcha and Shinkunla which could be a game changer for tourism in this area,” said the HRTC officials, adding the trial run could be done this week.



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