Bengaluru: After a proposal by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to increase bus fares by 18 per cent was shot down by the Chief Minister’s Office recently, the transport corporations have again approached the government for a fare increase of at least 15 per cent.
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had put the hike on hold at the last minute, pointing to a Rs 2 cut in the cess on petrol and diesel announced by his government.
A senior KSRTC official told Deccan Chronicle, “We had called for a 20 per cent hike in bus fares as we were suffering huge losses every day because of increasing diesel prices. Keeping the passenger interest in mind, transport corporations had agreed for an 18 per cent hike. As that too was shot down, we are now asking for at least 15 per cent hike, which will help us recover some of the losses.”
Apoorva, a regular bus user, said, “When the state government has cut the price of fuel, why are these transport corporations asking for a bus fare hike? People use public transport buses only to save money. If the bus fares go up, it will be difficult for people to manage their budgets. The government should take the decision to run buses with same fares.”
According to reports, transport corporations were suffering losses of Rs 15 crore every year due to fuel price fluctuations, which forced KSRTC to start a fuel efficiency programme on its buses.
In 2017-18, KSRTC managed to save more than 3 lakh litres of diesel compared to 99,000 litres in 2016-17. The increased mileage of KSRTC buses too contributed to savings of Rs 59.73 lakh and Rs 1.68 crore in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.
It’s Rs 70/litre for transport corpns
All four corporations (KSRTC, BMTC, NWKRTC and NEKRTC) require 15.39 lakh litres of diesel every day. The corporations purchase diesel directly from fuel companies for Rs 4-5 lesser compared to the retail market. The rates change every 15 days. On September 16, the corporations paid Rs 71.83 per litre. After the state government slashed Rs 2 cess on fuel price, it has come down to Rs 69-70 per litre.
Meeting with CM
Transport corporations are approaching Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy to reconsider the fare hike.