Bus fare rollback unlikely in State

Bus fare rollback unlikely in State

Passengers may not get any relief as road transport corporations opposed any rollback of bus fares in the backdrop of steep reduction in diesel prices in the last couple of weeks.

At a meeting chaired by Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Tuesday, top officials of the four corporations—Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) and North-West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC)—laid bare the poor financial condition which may not allow any cut in fares now.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ramalinga Reddy said: “There is no decision to hike or roll back fares. I will address the media on Wednesday regarding this.”

According to a senior BMTC official, presentations were made on the financial status of the transport corporations where it was clearly conveyed that the corporations will, in all its likelihood, post losses this financial year despite the increase in fares in May.

So there is no way that the hike could be rolled back, an official said. Though diesel price has come down by Rs 6 in the last few weeks, due to deregulation, there is no way the prices will remain stable and these could also increase at the same pace.

A senior official of one of the transport corporations said these are cumulative losses. Despite the hike in fares in May, the losses will not be absorbed.

So there is no option of reducing the fares as they are determined not just by diesel prices but also by escalation in the cost of operations.

“In the last few years, running costs have gone up substantially and the present fares cannot absorb it,” the official added. BMTC fares were hiked by 15 per cent in May when the corporation posted huge losses of over Rs 140 crore claiming that the expenditure on diesel had increased by 52 per cent and the salary of employees by 41 per cent since 2012-13.

Similarly, KSRTC fares were hiked by 8 per cent after the corporation claimed that in the last six years the expenditure on personnel had gone up by 119.31 per cent, while the diesel cost shot up by 92.03 per cent, pushing up the operational cost by 89.49 per cent. In all, expenses have gone up by Rs 207 crore, it stated.

NWKRTC posted a loss of Rs 63.31 crore in 2012-13 and NEKRTC Rs 20.92 crore. In 2013-14. KSRTC suffered a loss of Rs 10.5 crore. NEKRTC and NWKRTC posted a loss of Rs 6.09 crore and Rs 5.21 crore respectively.

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