Shimla– The Department of Transport, Himachal Pradesh, has issued notification confirming nod to restoring public transport within the State from June 1, 2020. The transport services would be allowed only between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The buses are allowed to ply with a maximum of 60 per cent seating capacity to maintain social distancing. The District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police have been directed to provide adequate police force for crowd management
General directions have been issued for the staff and passengers.
GENERAL CONDITIONS: –
- The District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police shall provide adequate police force for crowd management and law & order maintenance at all bus stands.
- All Stage Carriage buses (except AC buses) shall operate on their respective routes.
- To maintain social distancing and avoid overcrowding in above-said buses, the occupancy shall be maintained at no more than 60%.
- All passengers shall wear masks from the time of boarding till alighting from the bus.
- Driver, conductor and passengers should undergo self-monitoring for flu-like symptoms and in case any symptom appears, then she/ he shall report the same to the nearest health institutions.
- The buses shall be sanitized completely in the late evening hours or early morning before plying on their routes. The critical areas/touch points in the bus must be sanitized, periodically during the day.
- All safety protocols of the Health Department shall be followed by driver, conductor and passengers.
- No standing passengers shall be allowed in the buses during the journey.
- No e-pass shall be required for inter and intra district movement. However, for inter-state journey passengers must have e-pass issued by the District Magistrate.
- The Gram Panchayat/Municipal Committee shall render all possible assistance to the private operators and HRTC for boarding and lodging arrangement as and when demanded.
PROTOCOL FOR BUS STAND, BUSES AND STAFF: –
(a) At Bus Stand
- The entry/exit points shall be managed jointly by the team of District Administration, Health and Police department to ensure health check-up, screening and maintenance of Law & Order.
- Aarogya Setu App status would be checked preferably (for compatible device only) to ensure that passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms. Passenger with “Red” status in AarogyaSetu App would not be permitted to travel.
- Only passenger(s) shall be allowed to enter the bus stand through single-entry point.
- Every toilet shall be sanitized and must have soap dispenser.
- HRTC shall ensure availability of masks, hand sanitizers at bus stands and their price shall all be regulated the Regional Manager
- Bus Stand Management and Development Authority shall ensure adequate signages to guide the passengers.
- Public announcement system at bus shall regularly disseminate information about the precautions to be followed during travel.
- Physical distance of at least one meter shall be ensured while boarding and de-boarding.
- Proper queue system should be followed during boarding and at the ticket counter.
- Anyone moving inside the bus stand shall mandatorily wear the face cover.
- Adequate bins shall be placed for disposal of used material like etc. All such waste to be handled and disposed of as per the prescribed procedures.
- HRTC shall ensure that person sitting at cash counters be provided with adequate safety protective gears like gloves, masks, face cover, face shields, hand sanitizers etc.
(b). Inside the bus (passenger protocol)
- All passengers shall wear mask/face cover throughout the journey and ensure that co-passenger shall also wear masks.
- Passengers must use hand sanitizers regularly during their journey for their safety.
- It shall be ensured that only 60% of seats are occupied and seats marked as “Not to be used” are left vacant.
- Avoid unnecessary touching of common contact points.
- Avoid travelling in case of any illness. In case of emergency and illness, inform to the conductor for maintaining physical distancing during the journey.
- In case of any symptoms of illness of co-passenger, the information shall be provided to crew members of the bus.
(c). Bus protocol
- Boarding and de-boarding in the bus shall be from the rear and front door respectively.
- A sticker shall be pasted on seats marked as “Not to be used”.
- Every alternate seat shall be left unoccupied i.e. in case of three seats, middle seats, shall be left unoccupied and in case of two seats, only window seat shall be occupied.
- While issuing the tickets, the conductor shall avoid physical contact with the passengers and maintain proper physical distance.
- Passenger must assist the driver/conductor to maintain 60% occupancy.
- Proper ventilation must be maintained during the journey by opening the window glasses.
- Buses shall be stopped for boarding and de-boarding on the designated bus stands/stops only.
- Stage Carriage buses can pass through containment zones, however, boarding and de-boarding of passenger(s) shall be strictly prohibited within containment zones.
- Regional Manager, HRTC shall ensure that the proper hygiene and cleanliness is maintained at authorized Dhabas for passenger’s safety, which are to be notified by the District Magistrate.
- He shall wear mask/face cover, gloves and face shield throughout the journey.
- While issuing tickets, he/she shall ensure physical distancing from the passengers.
- He shall not allow passenger(s) to be seated on the seat marked as “Not to be used”.
- He shall educate passenger(s) about the protocol to be followed during the journey and ensure that all safety precautions are adhered to by the all concerned.
- He shall ensure proper ventilation in the bus.
- HRTC/Private operators shall ensure proper segregation of a separate cabin for the driver. He shall ensure minimum contact with the passengers and the public.
- He shall use protective gears like masks/face cover hand sanitizers etc.
(f) Way Side Amenities protocol
1, Proper sanitization and cleanliness must be ensured in the dining area, kitchen and toilets at Dhabas/restaurants.
2. Every Dhaba/restaurant must have sanitised for public use.
3. Soap dispenser must be available in the toilet and each washbasin.
4.Seating arrangement in the dining area must be such that proper physical distancing be maintained.
Any violation of these orders will be subject to prosecution under relevant provisions of the National Disaster Management Act 2005, the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and such other laws as may apply.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.