Bus fare hike inevitable: Mathew T Thomas

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 2: Kerala Transport Minister Mathew T Thomas informed the state Assembly that a fare hike in buses was inevitable in the state due to the steep increase in its operational expenses.

Replying to Mr A P Anilkumar (Cong) and others, Mr Thomas said the state owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) had asked the government for a 10.50 per cent increase in the current fares along with the Private Bus Operators Association.

It was in 2005 that the bus fares were increased last and a 15 per cent increase in diesel and 33 and 43 per cent hike in cost of spare parts and lubricants, respectively, by then.

He said in the light of the increase in its operational costs the government had no other option than revising the fares, as the KSRTC was incurring a monthly loss of Rs 8.5 crore.

However, the hike would be implemented without affecting the public, he added.

Mr Thomas hinted that the government would also revise the students' concession, as it could not compensate the loss of the bus operators.

Since a case was pending before the court on fixation of fare stage, the new revision would be based on the existing fare stage system only, he added.

The Transport Minister warned that stringent action would be taken against those who did not allow students to travel in private buses.

UNI

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