GUWAHATI, Oct 9 - The State Transport Department will issue the notice regarding fare hike for long-distance buses within two weeks. The decision was taken at a meeting held between the All Assam Motor Transport Association and the higher officials of the department concerned here today.
Earlier, the All Assam Motor Transport Association along with other transport organisations in the State raised the demand for hiking bus fares due to continuous rise in fuel prices in the past few months. Those associations demanded an increase of fares up to 50 per cent in the State.
Replying to a Zero Hour notice in the State Assembly recently, State Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said if the private operators have to run their business, the fare hike is necessary. “The last time the fare was revised was in 2012. Since then, prices of motor parts have increased by 68 per cent, insurance fee has gone up by 45 per cent, while the salaries of the staff have been raised by almost 54 per cent. Besides all these factors, the rise in prices of fuel has prompted the fare hike,” said Patowary.
The minister, however, claimed that the fares would go up by a maximum of 30 per cent. He also maintained that the bus fares in the State are one of the lowest in the country.
Meanwhile, in Guwahati, the fare of low floor city buses has increased and revised as per the government notice issued in 2012, from today. As per the revised rates, fare for 0-3 km is Rs 7, for 3-5 km Rs 8, for 5-9 km Rs 12, for 9-13 km Rs 15, for 13-17 km Rs 18, for 17-21 km Rs 21 and for 21-25 km Rs 23.
Meanwhile, social worker Deben Dutta today urged Dispur to take stern steps against the transport syndicate active in the State. In a statement, he slammed the transport minister for his decision to hike bus fare by 30 per cent.