BENGALURU : On Monday, Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike (BBPV) started a ‘Call your MLA’ campaign on social media and offline, which encourages commuters to speak to MLAs of their respective constituencies regarding the proposed bus fare hike. The state government is considering a hike of around 18 per cent for BMTC bus tickets.
“We are asking MLAs to communicate to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy that bus commuters can’t afford the fare hike. It is the duty of our MLAs to explain how commuters are facing difficulties with the existing rates,” said Vinay Sreenivasa, member of BBPV.
Apart from on Twitter, the campaign has been taken forward by various groups. “Garment Textile Workers Union, State Vendors Union, Anganwadi Teachers Union and several other groups who feel the pinch, have participated in the campaign. It will go on for another two days. So far, eight MLAs have been contacted, and they have agreed to put forward our concerns,” said Vinay.
MLAs SR Vishwanath (Yelahanka), Akhanda Srinivas Murthy (Pulakeshinagar), Byrathi Suresh (Hebbal), Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), Ravi Subrahmanya (Basavanagudi), M Krishnappa (Vijayanagar), Ramalinga Reddy (Koramnagala) and Krishna Byregowda (Byatarayanapura) were contacted.
As per BBPV’s release, some MLAs agreed that it was wrong to increase bus fares, while others blamed the centre for diesel fare hikes. A few others said the centre reduced the diesel fare hike, and that now it is up to the state government to reduce BMTC prices.
This is the second campaign by commuters against the bus fare hike in the last two months. On September 20, a commuter’s ballot was held at Kempegowda Bus Station. Of the 569 votes, 543 people - that is 95 per cent - opposed the hike.
What they want
The bus fares should not be increased, but, in fact, be reduced. This is to encourage more ridership and make it affordable for the poor.
BMTC should be supported financially as is the case with Namma Metro.
CM should meet bus commuter groups and find out how services can be strengthened.
BMTC should cut down on wasteful expenditure like buying electric buses worth hundreds of crores. At the same cost, several ordinary buses can be bought.
All taxes paid to BMTC should be reimbursed
CM Kumaraswamy should write to PM Narenda Modi about the Road Transport Corporation’s (RTC) suffering due to high diesel fares. RTC’s should be given diesel at special fares