Dharamshala: With Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections on the horizon, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday announced a 50 per cent concession to women in government buses of the state.

He also announced reducing the minimum bus fare from Rs 7 to Rs 5.

CM made these announcements during the ‘Naari ko Naman’ programme in Dharamshala, the winter capital of the state. The step is being seen as an effort to woo the voters before the elections.

However, CM clarified that this concession on bus fares to women is not a political move, rather it is a small step towards strengthening women’s power. 

Jai Ram Thakur said that this scheme would prove helpful in making women self-reliant and would give a new impetus to the progress of the women of the State.  He said that the State Government would spend about Rs. 60 crore annually on the scheme since as per an estimate as many as 1.25 lakh women travel in the HRTC buses daily.

 He said that the scheme would also give momentum to the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao campaign as girl students of schools and colleges, who commute daily by buses would be immensely benefitted.  

CM announced filling up 25 posts of women drivers for ‘Ride With Pride’ Taxis of HRTC. He further announced the filling up of 265 posts of motor mechanics, electricians and other categories in HRTC. 

He further said that the matter of providing additional funds of Rs. 30 crores for HRTC would be taken up with the Finance Department.

People have been demanding the government to reduce bus fares for a long time. The opposition party has also attacked the state government over this issue from time to time.