Bus fare hike in Kerala soon: Transport Minister Antony Raju

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to increase the private bus fares, said the state’s Transport Minister Antony Raju here on Saturday. “A decision on the date from which the fare hike comes into force will be taken soon,” he added.

Raju, speaking to the media after holding talks with representatives of bus owners, said that the government was in favour of the fare hike considering the steep hike in fuel prices. “However, the government is mulling over ways to implement the hike without causing additional burden to the common people,” he said.

Raju also informed reporters that the Justice Ramachandran Commission would be consulted before implementing the hike.

“Anomalies in fare stage during the previous fare hike will be corrected this time. All decisions will be announced after a discussion with the Chief Minister,” Raju said. According to the Minister, the government was unwilling to concede all the demands raised by the private bus owners.

Meanwhile, the bus owners have constituted a three-member sub-committee to hold the next round of talks regarding the tariff hike with the government. The major demands of the bus owners include increasing the minimum charge from Rs 8 to 12, rate per km from 90 paise to Rs one and minimum charge for students from Re one to six. Concession ticket charges at 50 per cent of the full fares and exemption from payment of vehicle taxes till the COVID-19 pandemic subsides are the other requirements of the bus owners.

The government has already waived a quarter’s taxes and extended the deadline for the remaining period till December 31.  

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