Transport and Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed has said there will be no increase in the bus fare in the State due to the recent spike in diesel price, which caused an extra burden of Rs.15 crore on the loss-making Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) alone.

At a news conference here on Sunday, Mr. Mohammed said the KSRTC would chop off around 100 bus services to save on fuel.

The diesel price hike was a huge burden on the KSRTC, but at the same time the government was against passing on the burden to the people.

However, he warned that if something was not done to ease the price hike, transportation facilities in the State would shrink. More KSRTC buses would have to be cut off if the crisis created by the diesel price hike persisted.

The bus services sanctioned under pressure from MLAs would be put on hold, the Minister said. But he said that more inter-State services would be run.

Mr. Mohammed said the Chief Minister had asked the Centre to spare the KSRTC from the fuel price hike. If this was not possible, Mr. Mohammed said, the Centre should provide KSRTC with financial assistance.

He said the fuel cost could be reduced if the KSRTC opted for CNG instead of diesel as fuel. But, he lamented that people were not letting the government acquire land for laying LNG pipelines. He said the proposed LNG-based power plant at Brahmapuram could generate 300 MW of power.

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL