As Covid cases continue to surge across the country, the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) has suspended bus service on 13 routes, including the Dharamshala to Delhi. The corporation took the decision in view of low passenger load on these routes in the wake of sudden spike in new infections in Himachal as well as the country.
According to information received from the authorities, the operations of two Volvo and one ordinary bus plying from Dharamshala to Delhi have been grounded. The other routes that have been suspended include Dharamshala to Dalhousie, Chambi, Kangra, Pathankot, Dehradun, Haridwar and Chamunda. Three services to Delhi, including at 8 pm, 10.10 pm (both Volvo) and 8.15 pm (ordinary), two to Pathankot (1.48 pm and 5.40 pm) and two to Kangra (3.30 pm and 6.15 pm) have been affected. The Dharamshala to Dalhousie bus was operating at 7 am, to Chambi at 1 pm, Haridwar 2.50 pm, Haridwar 4.25 pm and Chamunda 6 pm.
HRTC officials said as passenger load had reduced significantly, the corporation was suffering heavy losses while operating empty buses. Thus, it was decided to suspend the services for some time till the Covid situation improved, they said.
In mid-June last year, the HRTC had resumed operations on 1,226 routes, around 30 per cent of the total routes it operates in the state, after over a month. Public transport was suspended last month, when the government imposed a curfew to check the spread of Covid-19. Of the total routes resumed, 1,007 were local routes and 219 long intra-district routes. The bus services were resumed initially with 50 per cent occupancy and later taken to full capacity.