The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet, in its meeting held today, has decided to increase minimum bus fare in the State. Now, the minimum bus fare will be Rs. 6 and the maximum distance for this fare will be three kms.
The decision has come as a major financial burden for the people dependent on public and private transport. The government was facing pressure from the private bus operators, who had also staged a protest by going on strike a couple of weeks ago.
At the same time, the public groups and several organizations had warned the government of dire consequences if the fares were hiked.
The government said that the fare approved are comparable with those prevailing in neighbouring states of Punjab (for plain areas Rs. 1.10 paisa per km for ordinary) and Uttrakhand (for hilly areas Rs. 1.72 paisa for ordinary), which were fixed by Uttrakhand in 2017 (October) and about 3 months back in Punjab.
The government justified that the bus fares were increased in the years 2010 and 2013 in the past. The percentage increase in the year 2010 compared to the previous fare was 33.33 percent and in the year 2013, the increase was 30.63 percent, it said.
The government said that the time span during which the fares were increased was only 3 years. However the present hike has come after a long period of 5 years and the percentage increase in the fare is 24.44 percent in plain areas and 20.69 percent in hilly areas in all categories of services i.e. Ordinary buses, Deluxe buses and Volvo buses.
The minimum fare has been fixed as Rs. 6/- and the maximum distance for which this fare will be applicable shall be three kms. The government said the fare hike is justified in view of the sharp increase in diesel prices. The diesel prices increased by about 44 percent after October 2017, it further added. The decision is likely to face opposition from the public as well as oppositions.
List of New Rates Applicable
|Fare Rates||Area||Present bus fare (per km)||New approved bus fare (per km)||Increase percentage %|
|Ordinary Buses||Plain Area||90||112||24.44|
|Deluxe Buses||Plain Area||110||137||24.44|
|Volvo/AC Buses||Plain Area||220||274||24.44|
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