The State government on Tuesday filed a copy of the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) study report on the bus fare increase before a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court.

The government pleader submitted a copy of the NATPAC report when writ petitions against the bus strike and bus fare hike were taken up for hearing. The government pleader also informed the court that the cabinet sub-committee on fare increase would hold a meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the issue.

The court then asked the government pleader to appraise it of the decision to be taken by the cabinet sub-committee. The court also allowed the Centre for Consumer Education, one of the petitioners, to amend its writ petition and incorporate a prayer for a direction to the State government to hike the bus fare only on the basis of the recommendations of the K.V. Rabindran Nair Committee. The committee had recommended various measures including allowing the passengers to travel five km at minimum fare and fare increase on the basis of the returns filed by the bus operators.

The court adjourned to next week the hearing on the petitions.

Bogus title deeds

The Bench adjourned to January 20 the hearing on a writ petition seeking a direction to the State government to constitute a special investigation team consisting of officers of proven integrity to probe the allegations of bogus title deeds possessed by persons in places such as Pallivasal, Devikulam and Udumbanchola in Munnar.

The petition was filed by One Earth One Life. According to the petitioner, Revenue Principal Secretary Nivedita P. Haran had recommended moratorium on land transactions in those areas. However, no steps had been taken to implement the recommendations. The then Additional DGP Rajan Madhekar who had inquired into the issue of bogus title deeds had found that as many as 3,000 persons possessed fabricated title deeds. But no follow-up action had been taken by the government.

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