July 6, 2021 1:12:26 am
State Transport Minister Firhad Hakim met the representatives of bus operators on Monday afternoon to urge them to resume services at the earliest. The operators are demanding a fare hike because of rising fuel prices and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the bus owners, at present only 5 per cent of buses are back on the road.
Apart from Hakim, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Swarnakamal Saha and officials from bus owners’ associations attended the meeting.
Hakim told reporters after the meeting, “We have asked the bus operators to resume bus services immediately. After which, such discussions [on their demands] will be done. They have proposed a fare hike. But one should also think from the perspective of the common man. The government just cannot decide thinking about bus operators.”
The bus operators had proposed a fare hike last year too after the lockdown. The state had formed a one-member expert committee to discuss their demands.
“Last year, we resumed the bus services but no fare hike was announced. With such a rise in fuel prices and Covid, bus operators are in huge loss,” said Joint Council of Bus Syndicate’s general secretary Tapan Banerjee.
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