Diesel price hike prompts private players to charge more

Private bus operators have increased the fares by about 13 per cent in the wake of Thursday’s Rs. 6 hike in diesel price to Rs. 51.24 a litre.

The hike in fares of private buses came on the second day of the strike by employees of the State-owned road transport corporations (RTCs).

SRS Transport representative Rajashekar told The Hindu the fare hike was necessitated for a parity with the fuel price. “As it is, private buses are highly taxed. We will incur a huge loss if we don’t increase the fares.”

The fare hike will be effective on inter-city and inter-State travel.

Private buses generally had a field day on Friday with them being permitted by the government to operate on BMTC routes to ferry a hard-pressed public that had to make do with just 500 or so of the BMTC’s fleet that was on the road.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T. Sunil Kumar told The Hindu that tight security was in place with 14,000 police personnel sourced from 40 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police manning the city.

Apart from this, jurisdictional police officers were directed to step up patrolling in their areas as a precautionary measure. However, no preventive arrests had been made so far, Mr. Kumar said.

Meanwhile, the absence of BMTC services forced commuters across the city to use their own vehicles. It was a stressful day for Bangaloreans who cope with slow traffic every day. However, Friday was particularly bad with snarls reported in not only the central business district (CBD) but also arterial roads and corridors.

Many people found themselves at least two hours late to their destinations.

The situation was so bad in several areas the police switched off the traffic lights during rush hour and manually controlled the flow of traffic.

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