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TRANSPORT POLICY

Liberalization of the Road Transport Sector introduced under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the Government of India resulted in rapid increase in private participation in the Transport Sector. Introduction of new fuel-efficient models of automobiles coupled with easy access to finance increased the number of Motor Vehicles and the annual rate of growth of Motor Vehicles in the State. Along with this came the consequent problems/complications in traffic management. Besides, emerging trends and concepts in the Road Transport Sector especially in computerization, regulation and management made a case for reviewing the existing Transport Policy so as to make it more compliant and responsive to the present day needs in this sector. Through this Transport Policy the Government of Himachal Pradesh proposes to lay down a road map for the growth of this sector.


OUR VISION

A prosperous Himachal Pradesh with Transport playing a key role in balanced regional development and harnessing the growth potentials of each and every sector of the Himachal Pradesh economy by improving the ability and efficiency of accessing and distributing goods, services and productive capacity with employment opportunities created around the State. The remote and interior parts of the State will be in the focus for augmentation of transportation network.

MISSION STATEMENT

Providing mobility with choice, comfort, convenience, frequency, safety and minimal environmental effects. While the top most priority will be accorded to providing access facilities, efforts will be made to provide a range of transport facilities like buses, cabs, maxi cabs, auto rickshaws and Goods Carriers with varying range of load capacity and sizes to provide the maximum choice to the consumers and promote competition to maintain cost effectiveness of services. It shall also be the endeavor of the Department to promote alternate modes of transport like water transport and ropeways etc. wherever possible.

STATE TRANSPORT DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

The Government proposes to make the whole process of policy making participatory with all the stakeholders contributing to the development of the Transport sector. With this end in view, the Govt. proposes to set up a State Transport Development Council under the chairmanship of the Transport Minister. The Council will concern itself with issues pertaining to the Road Transport Sector more or less akin to the National Transport Development Council. The Council will be an advisory body and will meet periodically and the various stakeholders in the Transport Sector viz. Government Departments, Industries, State Transport undertakings, Private Operators, Truck Unions, Tourism Industry etc. will be represented.

OPERATION OF STAGE CARRIAGES AND GRANT OF PERMIT THEREOF

A comprehensive study will be carried out by the Transport Department with a view to: Identify new routes; Modify the existing routes to ensure that private operators also share rural/uneconomical operations to a certain extent; Analyze and assess vehicular requirements and frequency of operation as per passenger load, traffic potential, road capacity and viability of operation in the interest of an efficient, ecofriendly, safer and facilitative road transport system; A suitable provision will be made to ensure that no modification of timing/return trips/route etc. is permitted within the initial 2 years of grant of permits. It will be incorporated as an essential condition in the route permit; No modification will be permissible where any portion of ‘Katcha’, ‘rural’, road is being deleted; All new routes identified in future will have at least 60% rural and interior roads for grant of Stage Carriage permits. Permits will be issued having consideration to geographical conditions of the area/population density and the road capacity. No route permit will be granted for a route which has more that 40% National/ State Highway.

TAX FREE ROUTES

Presently there is a provision under the Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1972 for exempting certain roads from SRT. However, the exemption is being granted on furnishing a certificate from the PWD authorities. This causes a financial loss to the operators as till such time a certificate is issued by the PWD authorities and produced by the operator before the concerned RTO, the operator has to pay the Special Road Tax. As such, it is proposed that the exemption from payment of SRT will be allowed from the date on which the Road Inspection Committee declares the road fit for vehicular traffic. The Transport department will also undertake an exercise to review all Special Road Tax free roads so that exemption can be disallowed on such roads which have now been metalled.

INSPECTIONS/ENFORCEMENT

To ensure compliance of conditions of permits and Motor Vehicles Act and Rules, the Transport Department will undertake Special drives periodically to check evasion of tax, violation of conditions of permit, violation of mandatory provisions of Motor Vehicles Act such as drunken driving; driving without license and illegal operation of personal motor vehicle as taxi for hire and reward etc; Maintenance of Inspection book by all Stage Carriage/Contract Carriage operators will be made compulsory by incorporating a condition in the grant of permits. The form and format of the Inspection Book will be prescribed by the Transport Department, which will contain serial number of the Inspection Book with countersignature of the concerned RTO and will be checked during routine and surprise inspections. The Transport Department will also make a mandatory condition in the route permits requiring all stage carriage/contract carriage holders to have a garbage disposal bin commensurate with the space and capacity of the vehicle so that indiscriminate littering of highways and picnic spots by the commuters is avoided; Carrying of Photostat copies of essential documents will be totally banned. Defaulters shall be dealt with strictly.

MANAGEMENT OF THE STAGE CARRIAGE VEHICLES

The Transport Department is committed to improve passenger convenience, comfort and safety. For doing so the following steps will be taken Every Stage Carriage Operator is required to issue ticket to passenger as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. During checking it shall be specially seen that the provision is strictly enforced. Operators not issuing ticket will face cancellation proceedings. All stage carriage operator will be required to produce a certificate from the presidents of Gram Panchayats or the Urban Local Body of the starting and terminated points of their route to the effect that the vehicle was plying regularly on the route as per time table. This certificate will be required at the time of passing of vehicle. The Drivers of stage carriage buses will have to do a rephrased course at least once during the currency of the permit from any approved institution in the State. Such refreshed course will improved training on basic courtesies and passenger safety. All major accident of private buses will also be subject to a fact finding enquiry. Any fault on the part of the operator in maintenance of the vehicle or unauthorized plying of vehicle will entail cancellation of permits. In order to ensure that only buses with appropriate wheel base ply on the roads, it will be necessary that at the time of passing of road the maximum wheel base and length of the vehicle that the road is fit to ply will be specify.

PERMIT FOR LUXURY COACHES

The Transport Department will identify routes emanating from all District headquarters covering important destinations viz religious and tourist spots in consultation with the concerned departments for operation of Air Condition Buses within each district to provide a comfortable service to the tourists. The HRTC will consider introducing limited Air Conditioned buses on inter-state routes after entering into agreement with participating States if need be.

FACILITIES TO OPERATORS AT BUS STANDS

The Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority will construct and provide separate booking booths, crew rest rooms and other facilities to the private operators against rent. The Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority will also provide public utility conveniences including toilets on the pattern of “Sulab Shauchalayas” at all bus stands.

PARTICIPATION OF THE POLICE IN OPERATION OF STAGE CARRIAGES

The Director of Transport will supply timetables in respect of each stage carriage permit holder to the Police Department to enable them to check violation of adherence of timetables and routes.

INTER STATE ROUTES

All Inter State routes will continue to be operated exclusively by the HRTC and existing private operators holding a valid route permit.

 

COLOR PATTERN FOR PRIVATE STAGE CARRIAGE BUSES AND BUSES OWNED BY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES

The Stage Carriage buses of all private operators will be painted as per color scheme notified by the Department. The particulars of the bus owner shall be written in black letters in uniform strip of 8 cm on both sides at a specified location. The existing permit holders shall switch over to the new color pattern within two years of the notification of such color scheme; All buses owned by the educational institutions including Universities will be painted in yellow color with 8 cm strip in white and showing particulars of the institution on both sides written in black color. The existing buses will switch over to the new color pattern within 2 years; HRTC will continue to use the color pattern determined by the Corporation subject to the condition that the color scheme of the HRTC remains distinct from that of the Stage Carriages buses owned by the Educational Institutions.

NUMBERING OF INTRA CITY LOCAL BUSES

In order to facilitate the public and improve efficiency of services, the Transport Department will allot numbers for every Stage Carriage operating within the city/town. The bus No. and routes will also be displayed at the bus stops so that buses do not halt at undesignated bus stops.

AUTORICHSHAWS

Experience in this segment shows that indiscriminate growth of auto rickshaws in different places in the state has caused twin problems: traffic congestion and pollution due to use of two stroke petrol engines. The department will therefore endeavor to tackle the above two problems while at the same time providing this kind of transport facility generally used by the poor people in the state. Therefore, auto rickshaw permits will be allowed only in selected towns to be notified by the Government. Further, only auto rickshaws with four stroke engines will be granted permits henceforth.

OPERATION OF INTER CITY LOCAL BUSES

The Transport Department will not allow any halt/stage destination in the route permit/time table of local bus operators to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Only the originating destination with starting time and terminus destination with reaching time will be mentioned.

CRITERIA FOR ISSUE OF PERMITS

Having regard to the general provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, where more than one application is received for grant of Route Permits in respect of any route, special consideration will be given in the following order of priority: -
Widows/dependant of martyrs;
Physically Handicapped;
Unemployed Youth;
Ex-Servicemen;
Schedule caste/Schedule Tribes/B.P.L.;
Other Backward Classes;
Co-Operative Societies of the area;
Sports persons of National repute

DRIVING TRAINING SCHOOL

The Government will encourage establishment of Driving Training Institutes for heavy vehicles in the private sector. In order to ensure safety of passengers and public at large, drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles and Passenger Vehicles will be required to undergo a training/refresher course at least once for issuance and renewal of their licenses at Driving Training Schools recognized by the Transport Department.

TAXIS WITH METERS

Metered Taxies will be started in Kullu, Manali, Dharamsala, Shimla and Dalhousie Towns to begin with. Later more towns will be covered under the scheme. Prepaid taxi services shall also be started in these towns.

REDRESSAL OF GRIEVANCES OF TRANSPORTERS

The Department will endeavor to open and maintain a dialogue with truck operators to make the relationship interactive. For this, the Director of Transport will hold regular meetings with Unions of the Transporters to discuss issues, problems and obtain their views for improvement of the transport system. The Director of Transport will forward recommendations to the Government for consideration.

DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSPORT NAGARS

Experience shows that the support services facilities like workshop spare part shop and pollution check centers are not planned and developed because of which they come up in an unplanned manner causing congestion. The Transport Department will develop Transport Nagar in all major Town to provide this infrastructure in a planned manner. Further, taxis stand will be notified in all towns.

ACTIVITIES OF TRUCK OPERATORS UNIONS

The Director of Transport will monitor the functioning of the Truck Unions in the State with a view to check their illegal activities of charging freight over and above the rates fixed by the Government. Suitable environment will be created to enable the industries and individual to negotiate with truck owners/ union of outside the state incase the local truck union fail to supply truck at appropriate price.

ACTIVITIES RELATING TO HIMACHAL PRADESH BUS STAND MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

The Authority will make efforts to develop Bus Stands with private sector participation. Bus Stands will be constructed with a view to cater to traffic flow for at least next 15 years.

INSPECTION AND ISSUE OF FITNESS CERTIFICATES

In order to have an effective Inspection and Maintenance system, the Director of Transport will identify Private Service Stations, which can be authorized to conduct periodical fitness of the Transport Vehicles. The Department will also work out modalities with respect to fees and authorization of issue of passing certificates.

COMPUTERIZATION OF THE TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT

With a view to provide efficient services with maximum transparency, the Transport Department will be computerized to enable issuance permits, renewal, countersignature and realization of tax and arrears of tax, and issuance of licenses etc. It shall be the endeavor of the department to provide web-based services in as many areas as possible. The Department will also switch over to the “Smart card” system of issuance of Driving Licenses, Registration Certificates and Permits as early as possible.

RATIONALIZATION OF TAXES

The Transport Department will review the prevalent tax and fee structure in the state will suitably modify taxes and fees to bring them on par with the neighboring states and promote private sector participation in the appropriate area and discourage over concentration in saturated areas. Such an exercise will also promote revenue generation, equity and plugging possible licages.

WATER TRANSPORT POLICY

The Transport Department, which is also responsible for water transport in the state, will undertake steps to improve the quality of service and safety and comfort of passengers. For achieving this end, suitable amendments in the Himachal Pradesh Ferries Act will be made to provide for type of Ferries used in Transport, periodical inspection of Ferries, conditions of grant and operation of permits and safety measures to be undertaken by the operators.

CHECKING POLLUTION EMISSIONS FROM THE MOTOR VEHICLES

Keeping in view the fragile ecology of the state and potential of the Motor Vehicles in causing air and noise pollution, the Transport Department will undertake following steps:- The Department will try to introduce Euro-II norms of pollution emission on Motor Vehicles.
The Department will try to promote usage of alternate fuels like CNG and LPG etc. in Motor Vehicles. It will also be the endeavor of the Department to promote four stroke two wheelers and three wheelers in the state. Suitable provisions will be made to make functioning of Pollution Check Centers more effective. The Transport Department will supply to the Pollution Control Board a list of all private agencies authorized for grant of Pollution Control Certificate so that the activities and operation of these centers could be checked by the Board.

STRENGTHENING OF TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT

The endeavor of the Department will be to make it more responsive for providing safe and efficient transport services. Transport barriers shall be set-up at important entry points of the Pradesh to check illegal operations. Mobile barriers shall also be setup when ever and wherever required.

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Help us to ensure safe Transport and action against habitual violators by sending SMS on 9459100100 with Vehicle No and Place of violation which shall be forwarded to concenred RTOs/RLAs/ARTOs/MVIs/Head Office/Traffic Police in HP for immediate interception and check/regulation specifically of overloading/speeding/drunken-driving/non-issue of tickets/misconduct by the crew
Office: Directorate of Transport, Parivahan Bhawan, Shimla-171004, Himachal Pradesh (India)
Telephone: 0177-2803136,2811335, 2808948,2808961                     e-mail: transport-hp@nic.in

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