Bus owners insiston fare hike

The Justice Ramachandran Committee report fixing minimum bus fare at ₹10 and an increase of ₹2 per fare stage is inadequate considering the fuel price hike and the lockdown protocol, the Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation has said.

Faced with low patronage due to the pandemic situaation, even the few buses that are operating are finding it tough to meet the operational expenses. The minimum charge must be hiked to ₹12, while the per km fare should be revised to ₹1, the federation said.

A fare hike alone won’t do. Road tax must be temporarily withdrawn, while the State and Centre should provide subsidy in accordance with the quantum of diesel required for each bus, said M.B. Satyan, president, and Lawrence Babu, general secretary, respectively of the federation.

They said the government should take a relook at the Committee’s report. Bus operators are facing the worst crisis that has hit the sector in the State. They had resumed the service partially on May 16, hoping that the 50% fare hike allowed by the government would help them tide over the crisis. But the government rolled it back on June 1. The ₹11 hike in diesel price within the past 21 days alone has increased the operational expense by ₹900, they pointed out.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 12:16:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/bus-owners-insiston-fare-hike/article31947854.ece

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