New fare structure rolls out

Despite the hue and cry over the new fare chart prepared for taxis and buses by the state Transport Department,the government went ahead with its decision to implement it in the city on Tuesday.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 11, 2009 2:27:49 am

Despite the hue and cry over the new fare chart prepared for taxis and buses by the state Transport Department,the government went ahead with its decision to implement it in the city on Tuesday.

The government had announced a cut in taxi and bus fares after the Centre decreased the prices of petrol and diesel. The step,however,met with severe protests from bus owners’ unions who alleged that the government was trying to fill its own pocket by increasing sales tax and ‘unjustifiably’ reducing the fare.

After a round of discussions and futile negotiations,the Transport Department released the final chart and declared that it will be implemented from February 10. Despite earlier threats of bus and taxi unions of striking work,they held a sit-in protest from 10 am to 2 pm on Tuesday.

“The new fare chart has not been issue for routes and this has created a lot of confusion for bus conductors who had to argue with commuters at various places. It’s deplorable that the government cannot implement its own policy decision,” said Sadhan Das,president,Joint Council of Bus Syndicate.

He added that there is a lack of coordination among the government departments. The officials of the Motor Vehicles Department,however,dismissed the allegation. “We have provided the new fare chart on all the routes but sometimes they purposely keep the chart hidden to earn extra money,” said an official.

Members of the Bengal Bus Syndicate will hand over a memorandum of their demands to the state Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty on Wednesday.

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