No bus, minibus fare hike in West Bengal
Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Wednesday ruled out any hike in bus and minibus fares despite continued demands by operators in view of the persistent hike in diesel price for the eight times since November 2012.
"With panchayat election knocking at the door, the state government is not in a position to accept the demand of the bus and minibus operators," state Transport Minister Madan Mitra said here.
After a meeting with the minister at the state secretariat, Joint Council of Bus Syndicates General Secretary Sadhan Das and Minibus Operators` Coordination Committee General Secretary Abasesh Dan told reporters that they had placed their demands before the ministers as the operators were no more in a position to operate their vehicles at the existing fares.
Das demanded that the minimum bus fare be raised to Rs 7 from Rs 5 and the minimum JNNURM bus fares at Rs 8 from Rs 5 immediately to ensure their existence in the trade. He also demanded hike in minibus fares from Rs 6 to Rs 10.
Besides, both bus and minibus operators demanded restructuring of all stages in the fare structures.
Nearly 37,000 buses and 8,000 minibuses operate in the city and adjacent districts on a regular basis. Of them 30 per cent vehicles have gone off the roads due to losses following hike in prices of diesel, spares and taxes.
The operators, however, said they would wait for 15 days and then seek an appointment with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before taking any stand.
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