Kerala State private bus operators seek fare hike

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Private Bus Operators’ Federation has demanded that the minimum bus fare be fixed at Rs.5 and the kilometre rate at 60 paise.A central committee meeting of the federation held here on Wednesday said the Central government’s decision to give the right to fix petrol prices to oil companies and the move to do away with the control regime for diesel prices in near future would lead to total anarchy.

At a press conference, federation president A.K. Abdullah and general secretary Lawrence Babu said the Central and the State governments should desist from steps that would wreck the private bus industry which was in dire straits following the diesel price hike effected on June 26. When the diesel price went up by nearly Rs.3 on February 27, the State government, on March 6, reinstated the old bus fares. However, as more than 50 per cent of the bus passengers were students and as their fare was not increased, the bus owners had to suffer a dip in their income.

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  1. Sir,
    The ordinary people who rely on the Kerala State Transport Corporation
    (KSRTC) and private buses for travel will be collectively spending about Rs.
    1,750 crore more if the bus fare hike is made again.
    Each of the 4,555 KSRTC buses and around 32,200 private buses would be
    gaining a minimum average additional income of Rs.750 a day if the increase in
    fare is made again. . This was several times more than the additional cost they
    would be incurring after the recent fuel price hike. The need of the hour is to
    decrease the increased road tax levied on buses. We the passengers request the

    peoples’ Government in Kerala to kindly reduce the road tax levied on buses and
    not to make any hike in the bus charge which will be a blow to the common man
    who is finding very difficult in maintaining a livelihood. The increase made
    in the gas cylinders, the spiraling prices of essential commodities make the
    common man living a burden.
    Bus passengers in Kerala were already paying 55 paise per km of bus ride. Still
    it is 28 paise in Tamil Nadu and 38 paise in Andhra Pradesh. The minimum fare
    in Tamil Nadu was Rs. 2, for which a passenger could travel 4 km.

    Each bus, on an average day, carried 800 to 900 passengers. Of them, 300 would
    be minimum-fare passengers. The average additional cost of Rs. 200 per bus a day

    caused by the diesel fare hike could be more than offset by the proposed bus
    hike.
    The recommendation made by the Fare revision Committee should not be taken into
    account since the chairman was working for the Bus owners Advocate during good
    olden days and the passengers did not get any justice from the hearing they had
    with the passengers. In this connection,the Rabindran Nair Commission and the
    Sheela Thomas Commission had wanted a minimum fare passenger to be allowed to
    travel a distance equal to the minimum fare divided by the rate per km. The
    Rabindran Nair Commission had said in its report, “It seems appropriate to lay
    down that the minimum charge for ordinary service should not exceed the rate
    that would be applicable to five kilometres of distance.. So we, the passengers

    request the Government of Kerala to kindly allow the passengers to travel 5Kms
    for the minimum distance as enjoyed by them before 1989. Passengers are not
    against fare-revision but justice should be done to the passengers by allowing
    them to travel 5Kms for the minimum fare.
    Hence, We, the passengers request the Shri Oommen Chandy, Hon.Chief Minister of

    Kerala to kindly direct the Transport Department to adhere to the directions
    given by Sheela Commission Report and Rabindran Commission Report so that the
    common man who struggle to meet the both ends of life due to spiraling prices of

    essential commodities and also gas price hike will be much benefited. Every
    passenger should be able to travel 5Kms for the minimum fare. We the
    passengers request the Government to kindly publish the Sheela commission and
    Rabindran Commission report immediately which will be a solace to the Common
    Man.
    Yours faithfully,
    FOR PASCHIMAKOCHI PASSENGERS’ ASSOCIATION,

    S.PADMANABHA MALLYA,
    COCHIN.