Congress stages walkout over bus fare hike in Himachal

Shimla, March 9 (IANS) The opposition Congress Tuesday staged a walkout in the Himachal Pradesh assembly to protest a 30 percent fare hike in state-run bus services.

After the reply of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on a motion of thanks to the governor’s address, Leader of Opposition Vidya Stokes demanded that the government should roll back the hike in fares.

‘The hike in bus fares by Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) is unjust and would affect the common man,’ she said.

Other Congress legislators also joined her and staged a walk-out from the house, shouting anti-government slogans.

The new fares were made effective Monday midnight.

Transport Minister Mahinder Singh, in a suo moto statement in the state assembly Monday, said that in view of the rise in diesel prices, the revision in bus fares had become necessity.

The HPRTC has accumulated losses of Rs.512 crore in 2008-2009 and other liabilities amounted to Rs.136 crore, he said.

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