Bus fare raised, operators withdraw strike

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Monday increased the rate of bus fare by 10.23 per cent in view of the recent hike in fuel prices.

"We have no alternative but to increase the bus fare due to stiff increase in the price of diesel," said transport and commerce minister Sanjib Sahoo.

While the fare for general buses has been increased by four paise per kilometre, passengers travelling in express buses will have to pay five paise extra per kilometre.

Similarly, the the passengers will now be charged six paise more per kilometre for travelling in deluxe buses while the new price would be 85 paise per kilometre in deluxe air-conditioned buses instead of the earlier price of 78 paise.

The new price for general buses will now be 50 paise per kilometre, 53 paise for express buses and 70 paise for deluxe buses, the minister said.

Orissa Private Bus Owners` Association, however, did not accept the new bus fare. "We had demanded a hike in fare by 15 per cent. But the government allowed only 10.23 per cent which is too less to meet the additional expenditure owing to increased fuel and motor parts rate," said president Prakash Mishra.

The state government`s decision of increasing the bus fare by 10.23 per cent was announced considering all factors including paying capacity of the people, the minister said.

The state government`s technical committee on bus fare had, however, recommended a hike by 13.09 per cent, sources said.

Meanwhile, the private bus operators association decided to withdraw its proposed strike from tomorrow. However, the body urged the state government to review the recommendations of the Technical Committee constituted by the government.

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