State’s first build-operate-transfer (BOT) project - an ultra-modern Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), built at a cost of Rs 80 crore at Tutikandi, on Shimla bypass became operational on Aug 29, 2011
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal dedicated the project to the citizens, raising hopes that similar bus stands would also be built in all major towns - six of them already cleared by the state cabinet.
The new ISBT has 11 bays at arrival level and 24 bays at departure level with dedicated doors for entry and exit of passengers for each bay. The passenger concourse at both levels is provided with waiting area.
A police assistance booth has been set up and the ISBT is equipped with CCTV cameras for 24-hour surveillance.
There are three floors of parking to accommodate about 150 small vehicles. There is a segregation of movement of passenger, private vehicles and buses with new and dedicated drive-way for private vehicles for dropping passengers.
The integrated bus terminal also has two floors of a modern shopping mall, two multiplexes and a hotel.
Speaking on the occasion, Dhumal said the government would consider connecting the new ISBT through a ropeway with the old bus stand and railway station with scope for further extension to Jakhu to boost tourism.
“This will be done in such a way that environment and ecology of the town is not disturbed,” Dhumal said adding that additional efforts will also be made to construct more lifts and escalators in the town.
It needs to be mentioned that construction of the modern ISBT took 11 years. In the year 2000, the master plan was approved by CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and the land for the bus stand was allocated in Tutikandi.
In 2003, during the tenure of Congress government, several difficulties were faced to begin the construction work.
It took over five years to get permission from forest department for cutting trees on the allotted site. It was in the year 2008 that a go ahead was granted by the department.
Thereafter, the construction work began in collaboration with a Delhi-based private company, CK Infrastructure. Out of the total amount spent on its construction, Rs 16 crore was contributed by HRTC and Rs 64 crore by the private company.
Feature of modern ISBT Shimla
a. Altogether 35 bays which include 11 arrival & 24 departure bays
b. Glazed concourse and lobby
c. Modern ticketing counters
d. Furnished cloak rooms
e. Parking for nearly 200 cars
f. Hassle free traffic movement /pedestrians
g. Commercial areas (restaurant , offices )
i. Budget hotel
j. Proposed cable trolley to mall road
k. Equipped with all modern security equipments
l. Taxi stand
n. Space for advertisements
Commercial Area plan
Nearly 800 bus schedule will be operational from modern ISBT Shimla. These schedules include's local, inter district and inter state buses. These buses will nearly boost our commercial areas from 65000 passengers and tourists. Being capital of Himachal Pardesh we expect 15000 persons which include tourists, officials and business persons from different states and countries.
New Traffic Plan for Shimla
Consequent upon the construction of new Inter State Bus Stand, the new traffic movement from Shimla has been modified as under according to Chief Executive Officer, H.P. Bus Stands Management and Development Authority, Shimla.
The buses coming from Chandigarh, Bilaspur, Nahan side and terminating at Shimla will directly go to ISBT Tutikandi. On return journey, these buses will originate from ISBT Tutikandi.
The buses coming from upper Shimla and Kinnaur side and terminating at Shimla will continue operating via Chhota Shimla, Bemloe, old bus stand but will terminate at ISBT Tutikandi. For return journey, these buses will originate from ISBT Tutikandi and will continue operating via Lakkar Bazar, Dhalli byepass.
The buses coming from upper Shimla and Kinnaur side and going towards Chandigarh, Bilaspur, Nahan side will operate via Dhalli byepass, Sanjauli, Chhota Shimla, Khalini Chowk, Kanlog, Lalpani to ISBT Tutikandi.
The buses coming from Chandigarh, Bilaspur, Nahan side and going towards upper Shimla and Kinnaur will touch ISBT Tutikandi and after alighting and getting passengers, will continue operating via Lakkar Bazar, Dhalli to further destinations.
The old bus stand would henceforth function as local bus stand for operations within Shimla town as well as for peripheral locations within the radius of 30 kms.
All local circuit buses operating within Shimla town from various locations such as New Shimla, Sanjauli, Vikasnagar, Panthaghati, Summerhill, Shoghi etc. will continue to operate from old bus stand. However, some of them will be extended upto ISBT Tutikandi to provide better connectivity from various locations to ISBT Tutikandi.
For the convenience of vegetables and milk vendors to bring their produce to the town and daily commuters and to reduce traffic congestion, the buses operating from peripheral locations beyond Dhalli but within the radius of 30 kms. will continue operating via Chhota Shimla to old bus stand but would be extended to ISBT Tutikandi, the buses operating from different peripheral locations within the radius of 30 kms. from Tutu and Shoghi side towards Victory Tunnel, presently operating via Lakkar Bazar, Sanjauli, Chhota Shimla to old bus stand, would henceforth operate directly from Victory Tunnel to old bus stand.
The Mudrika operations on Dhalli-Chhota Shimla-old bus stand, old bus stand-Lakkar Bazar-Dhalli and New Shimla-old bus stand routes would run throughout the day except during school timings and will be extended to ISBT Tutikandi.
Besides the above arrangements, five additional shuttle buses will keep operating throughout the day from early morning to late evening between ISBT Tutikandi and old bus stand.
Some of the long route buses terminating at ISBT Tutikandi and fixed for operation in the early morning will be extended upto various locations within Shimla town to provide early morning connectivity from these locations to ISBT Tutikandi.
Connectivity between ISBT Tutikandi and six important hubs in the town, i.e. 1) Old bus stand, 2) Tutu/Summerhill, 3) Lakkar bazaar, 4) BCS/New Shimla, 5) Vikasnagar/Panthaghati and 6) Sanjauli/Dhalli will be ensured from early morning to late evening.
Special recognition stickers will be given to the buses operating from old bus stand.
Advance reservation facilities would be provided by HRTC through online reservation system and tickets can be booked by passengers even sitting at home or through Lok Mitra Kendras or through four counters run by HRTC at important locations of Shimla town i.e. ISBT Tutikandi, old Bus Stand Cart Road, Tourist Information Centre, the Mall and at Lakkar Bazar. A self serviced online reservation kiosk has also been provided at the departure level of ISBT Tuti Kandi on pilot basis and similar kiosks would be replicated at bus stands all over the State.
The general public has been requested to extend cooperation in implementing the modified traffic plan to facilitate smooth operation of public transport. However, some problems may crop up in the first few days which would be redressed in the best possible manner.