Officials released the notification regarding the increase in fares to the media on Monday night, but the hike reportedly held good for just 25 minutes.

Minutes after Ktaka Transport dept hiked bus fares by 18pc CM HDK reverses it
news Transportation Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 09:53

Minutes after the State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) — BMTC, KSRTC, NWKRTC and NEKRTC — in Karnataka announced that bus fares in Karnataka would increase by 18%, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy threw a spanner in the works, and halted the increase. 

Officials released the notification regarding the increase in fares to the media on Monday night, but the hike reportedly held good for just 25 minutes after officials notified the media. 

“We cannot increase bus fares on the same day that we issued an order reducing sales tax on petrol and diesel. The hike in bus fares is imminent in the backdrop of skyrocketing diesel prices, but we cannot afford to burden bus passengers with an 18% hike,” a source in the CM’s office told the Times of India.

Meanwhile, officials of transport departments were caught unawares after the hike was halted. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior KSRTC official said that they are facing huge losses, but their hands are presently tied. 

“We received the green signal for a fare hike from the transport department on Monday evening. But we were shocked when we were asked to hold it back by the CM’s office without giving any particular reason. State-run transport corporations are finding it difficult to run the services with the current fares even for a day. All four corporations are facing huge losses because of increasing diesel prices,” the official said. 

The BMTC is presently reeling under heavy losses, and has also seen a dip in revenue

"Since this is a public transport system, we have no choice but to offer concessional fares. But BMTC is running under heavy losses and increasing the bus fare is inevitable," Transport Minister Thamanna told the media earlier this month, when the hike was being considered. In order to compensate for losses due to high fuel prices, officials of both the KSRTC and the BMTC had asked the government to increase bus fares by 18-20%.

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