CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is keeping up its attack on the state government over the bus fare hike that came into effect last week.
DMK leader MK Stalin said Chief Minister TN chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami should resign from his post if he cannot roll back the increase in prices. "This protest is not going to stop today. The bus fare price hike should be rolled back at once. If it is not possible then the CM should resign and go home," MK Stalin said.
The DMK had said on Thursday set up a five-member committee headed by former Union Minister TR Baalu to recommend measures to restructure the state transport corporations in Tamil Nadu.
The party had said that the panel was formed on the advice of Stalin to study the functioning of such corporations in neighbouring states, hold discussions with experts and file a report.
The government had jacked up bus fares to rake in around Rs 3,600 crore.
The state government has been firm that the fare hike, which has been announced after a hiatus of six years, will not be rolled back. "There is no chance of that," Tamil Nadu Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar had said saying the hike was inevitable.
The fare has been hiked for buses across categories viz moffusil, city, ordinary, express, deluxe, bypass-non-stop, ultra deluxe, airconditioned and Volvo modes.
While the minimum hike is in moffusil ordinary category, where the fare of Rs 5 for 10 km would now be Rs 6 (20 per cent hike), the highest is in Volvo buses, where the fare of Rs 33 for 30 km will now go up to Rs 51 (54.54 per cent hike).
In town buses, the fare has been hiked from a minimum of Rs 3 to Rs 5 and the maximum from Rs 12 to Rs 19.
The government cited a host of factors for the hike, including increase in fuel price and maintenance, annual increment in salaries, pension and purchase of new buses to increase efficiency.