Following the Tamil Nadu governmentâ€™s decision to hike bus fares in the state on Friday, members of the Left-affiliated Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) found a unique way to protest on Sunday. Travelling on bullock carts, members of DYFI shouted slogans protesting the revised fares. The idea behind the protest was to convey the message that travelling on bullock carts would be far cheaper than travelling on government buses with the new fares.
According to a report in The Hindu, the DYFI members took out a procession in two bullock carts, making their way to the district collectorate. The youth, dressed in red, blue and white, can be seen carrying flags and placards condemning the revised fares. They also called on the government to withdraw the hike with immediate effect.
Arjun Sampath of the Hindu Makkal Katchi also took out a similar protest.
The Tamil Nadu government announced on Friday that bus fares had been hiked across the state for public buses. Citing various reasons for the hike, the government order read, "There has been a considerable hike in the process of oil and petroleum products. The cost of spares and accessories of motor vehicles has also increased. There is considerable increase in the operational expenses of bus transportation in the State and increase in staff cost due to Dearness Allowance, wage settlement necessitating the revision of Bus fare structure.â€ť
The bus fare hike comes less than two weeks after the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus strike that crippled the state.
The increase in fares is applicable to all public buses in the state, including those that ply locally, between cities and towns. The revised fares will be in effect from January 20. While the revision of fares in public buses is between Rs 1 in ordinary service for 10 km to Rs 7 in express service for 30 km, those using private buses will have to shell out more. The rates for Volvo buses has increased from Rs 33 to Rs 51, with rates steadily increasing for the air conditioned, ultra deluxe and super deluxe categories. For night services, the ordinary fares are doubled.
SFI conducts bullock cart rally to protest against bus fare hike in Salem. Returning to Stone Age/cost effective. @MirrorNow @sanjusadagopan @mahajournalist @gavastk @Ahmedshabbir20 @Shiva_Tweeets @devpromoth @sarpanch__ @subashprabhu @beemji pic.twitter.com/2laTpFrzw7â€” Pramod Madhav (@madhavpramod1) January 22, 2018