BENGALURU: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi on Thursday hinted that the state government is likely to hike the fare of BMTC buses in Bengaluru.
“We have not taken any decision yet. BMTC’s proposal to hike bus fares is being looked into and the Chief Minister will take a final decision on it,” the Dy CM told media persons. “The CM will decide if we need to increase bus fares or not,” he said.
All the four state transport corporations in Karnataka incurred losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic and an increase in fuel prices too is likely to have an impact on their operations. Losses incurred by the corporations increased to Rs 2,720 crore after the outbreak of the pandemic. In 2020, the government had increased fares by 12% in all transport corporations except the BMTC.
Savadi said BMTC has asked for a 20% increase in fares, which he termed as “too much.” Ola and Uber have also sought permission to increase the fare and that is also being looked into, the Dy CM added.
Sources said the government is unlikely to consider the BMTC’s proposal as Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections are likely to be held this year.
Hike in BMTC fares will put the ruling BJP on the back foot especially at a time when the opposition Congress is protesting against the increase in fuel prices and demanding that the state government reduce state taxes to relieve the people.
Meanwhile, the Transport Department is starting cargo services in the state from Friday.