Protest demonstrations were held by public Sunday in parts of Tamil Nadu against the steep hike in bus fares announced by the State government. A group of villagers near Dindigul staged a road-roko against the hike and wanted the government to immediately withdraw the same.
The protesters, comprising mainly of daily wage earners, said the new fare implemented from yesterday took away a chunk of their meagre income. Similar protests were held in other places like Chengam in Tiruvannamalai and Thanjavur districts.
The bus fare hike in Tamil Nadu has drawn flak from political parties, including the main opposition DMK, which accused the government of being ‘sadistic’ and giving a ‘thunderbolt’ to the people.
PMK and DMK have announced protest demonstrations on January 25 and 27 respectively against the hike. CPI(M) will hold a protest demonstration on January 22. All the parties have sought an immediate rollback of fare hike.
Chief Minister K Palaniswamy said yesterday that the hike was effected with “anguish,” which was inevitable due to a host of factors which includes an increase in the cost of fuel, and maintenance. Echoing his view, Transport Minister M R Vijayabaskar said at Karur, “we seek the apology of the people. Due to inevitable reasons, Tamil Nadu government was pushed to increase the bus fare,” adding there was no scope for a rollback.