Chennai: A day after the Tamil Nadu government hiked the bus fares in the state, DMK Working President MK Stalin on Saturday said that it was a "testing time for the poor and the marginalised people of the state".
Shocked over the move, Stalin urged the "horse-traded" and "commission agent" government to roll it back with immediate effect.
After a gap of six years, Tamil Nadu government on Friday hiked the fares of buses under State run transport corporations and private entities approximately by 20 to 54.54 per cent.
Effective from Saturday, the fare has been hiked for buses across categories viz moffusil, city, ordinary, express, deluxe, bypass-non-stop, ultra deluxe, air-conditioned and Volvo modes, an official release said.
While the minimum hike is in moffusil ordinary category, where the present fare of Rs 5 for 10 km would now be Rs 6 (20 per cent hike), the highest is in Volvo buses, where the present fare of Rs 33 for 30 km will now go up to Rs 51 (54.54 per cent hike).
Fares of Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses in Chennai has been increased from Rs 3 to Rs 5, and the maximum from Rs 14 to Rs 23.
Following the price hike, passengers protested at Coimbatore's Ukkadam Bus Terminus against the move.
Tamil Nadu: Passengers protest at Coimbatore's Ukkadam Bus Terminus against a hike in bus fares pic.twitter.com/o1rzRVLuTn— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2018
Addressing the media on Saturday, Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar said "there was no chance of bringing down the bus fare".
The government cited a host of factors for the hike, including increase in fuel price and maintenance, annual increment in salaries, pension and purchase of new buses to increase efficiency....