The State Government on Tuesday hiked the bus fare for all categories of buses, from five paise to eight paise per km, drawing criticism from the Opposition parties. The hiked fare will be effective from November 1.
The Private Bus Owners’ Association, which had threatened to go on strike from November 1 if the fare was not hiked by that day, has now called it off. Official sources said the decision to raise the fare was taken in view of the stiff hike in fuel price recently.
Fare for the ordinary buses has increased by 5 paise, from 50 paise to 55 paise per km. The hike for express buses has also been increased by 5 paise per km, from 53 paise to 58 paise. The fare for de luxe coaches has gone up from 70 paise to 76 paise per km. Passengers travelling in deluxe A/C buses will have to cough up 8 paise more, an increase from 85 paise to 93 paise per km.
The Private Bus Owners’ Association had demanded the raise soon after diesel price went up. Sources said the technical committee of the Transport Department had also recommended the hike in view of the diesel price hike. The Congress, however, strongly opposed the hike describing it as anti-people. Party general secretary Arjya Kumar Gyanendra said the State Government would have instead waived VAT on diesel if it had any concern for the common people.
Criticising the bus fare hike, Samajwadi Party State unit president Rabi Behera said it showed how the Government has protected the interest of the bus owners instead of the common people. No State has hiked bus fare after the diesel price hike, Behera pointed out.
New fare from tomorrow
Ordinary buses: 5 paise more per km. Up from 50 to 55 paise.
Express: 5 paise more. Up from 53 to 58 paise.
De luxe coaches: 6 paise. 70 to 76 paise.
De luxe AC: 8 paise more. 85 to 93 paise.