June 28, 2020 5:15:55 am
A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced Rs 15,000 subsidy for each of the 6,000 private buses for three months, a private bus operators’ association on Saturday refused to accept the financial assistance and stood by its earlier demand of a fare hike.
Pradip Narayan Bose, joint secretary of West Bengal Bus and Minibus Owners’ Association said they would once again submit a memorandum to the state transport department on Monday urging for a fare hike.
“We welcome the decision taken by the chief minister, but this monthly assistance of Rs 15,000 will not solve our financial problem. There is no alternative to a fare hike. We are not increasing the fare by ourselves. However, buses will run on old fares as long as they can afford to do so. They will fail to continue services when their resources will be exhausted. So, we are not accepting this assistance. We will submit another memorandum to the government on Monday requesting a fare hike,” said Bose.
On Friday, Banerjee had announced a subsidy amounting to Rs 27 crore for private buses and mini buses as commuters are being greatly inconvenienced due to shortage of private buses. According to Banerjee, Rs 15,000 per month will be provided to 6,000 such buses for three months. Currently, 2,500 out of 6,000 private buses and mini buses are plying on the roads.
Other private bus operators’ associations such as West Bengal Joint Council of Bus Syndicates will sit for talks with its members next week to decide whether to accept the state government’s offer.
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