KOCHI: The private bus operators have threatened a state-wide indefinite strike from February 16 demanding an increase in the bus fares including the students’ concession. Private Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee president Lawrence Babu told reporters here on Friday the transport sector had plunged into crisis due to the rise in the prices of diesel and spare parts, which forced the private bus operators to launch the strike.
The minimum bus fare should be increased to `10 and the minimum concession rate for students should be fixed at `5, said the committee’s secretary T Gopinath. The concession rate for students above the minimum charge should be 50 per cent of the normal bus fare. Students studying in private institutions should be excluded from bus concession.
“We will not withdraw from the strike until the government agrees to increase the students’ concession rate,” he said. Though Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had informed the Legislative Assembly that the bus fare would have to be increased, the proposal in this regard did not come up before the Cabinet during the last two sessions.