West Bengal’s bus, taxi operators demand fare hike (Lead)June 27th, 2010 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) West Bengal’s bus and taxi operators Sunday demanded a hike in fares to cope with the recent increase in fuel prices.
“We will place our demand to increase the taxi fare by five rupees. Because it has become really tough for us to run the taxis as the expenses have gone up severely,” said Suman Guha, assistant secretary of the Bengal Taxi Association.
Currently taxi commuters in the state have to pay a starting fare of Rs.22. If the taxi association’s demand is accepted then the commuters have to pay Rs.27.
Bus operators, too, echoed similar sentiments.
“We will meet the state transport minister and place our demand for increasing the bus fares so that we can cope with the increased expenditure,” Sadhan Das of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicate said after a meeting.
The central government Friday decided to decontrol the price of petrol, which meant an increase of at least Rs.3.50 per litre in most metros. It also hiked the prices of diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.
“The state government has to either slash taxes on oil prices or increase the bus fare. Otherwise, it is impossible for us to ply buses. The monthly expenditure on buses has increased to a large extent,” said Bengal Bus Syndicate president Swarnakamal Saha, who is also a Trinamool Congress legislator.
Another Trinamool Congress legislator and president of the Progressive Taximen’s Union Madan Mitro said: “We will have a meeting with our executive council and then we will decide our next step.”
Last week, autorickshaw and taxi fares in Mumbai and Delhi were increased.
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Tags: autorickshaw, bus fare, bus fares, bus operators, commuters, decontrol, executive council, fare hike, fuel prices, madan, mitro, rs 2, s union, taxi association, taxi fare, taxi fares, taxi operators, transport minister, trinamool congress, west bengal